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"DEAR OLD GEORGETOWN"
Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Smith
N. M. RAGLAND
Pastor Emeritus, First Christian Church,
Christian Board of Publication
St. Louis, Mo.
THIS memorial to Mrs. Martha Eliza-
beth Smith was written at the re-
quest and with the help of her sister,
Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton. The prepara-
tion of the little volume was a labor of
love. The writer, while pastor of the
church in Sedalia, of which General Smith
and his daughters were members, was
often in their home, and came to know
and to love them as sincere and devoted
friends. He was also with the family
during the last sickness and the death of
General Smith, and on the occasion of the
funeral made the address. These inci-
dents are recited that the reader may
understand that the author has spoken
out of the inspiration of sacred memories
which have ^rown brig,hter and sweeter
■with the chan^in^ years.
MRS. MARTHA E. SMITH
TO MY SISTER
(From an old album of my girlhood.)
As gazing on thy unsullied heart
I'd pause before I rashly traced
A prayer, a hope, a wish or thought
Where it could never be erased.
So now I falter ere I stain
This leaf of purest white.
So thrillingly intense the strain
My heart would here indite.
Yes, sister mine, thy sunny smile
From memory's twilight dawn
Has beamed upon the shadowy aisle
Through which my path hath worn,
To brighten every joy I knew,
To gild each passing cloud,
With heart forever warm and true
And spirit justly proud.
Yet, when I'd strike this harp unskilled
To speak the ever murmuring love
Which for aye ! its cords have thrilled,
Those cords refuse to move ;
And trembling with the weight intense
Of feeling's fervid glow
Sends up its prayer for God to bless,
What can the heart do more?
Georgetown, November 29, 1853.
— Five —
Prefatory Note: 3
I. Her Father 11
II. Her Mother 27
III. The Earey Years 35
IV. In Her New Home 45
V. Life in Georgetown 55
VI. Religious Influences 65
VII. Her Journal 75
VIII. Personal Traits 85
IX. Her Poetry 97
X. Her Poems 107
The best part of a good man's life is his little, name-
less, unrcmcmhered acts of kindness and of love.
— William Wordsworth.
The man who is deserving the name is the one whose
thoughts and exertions are for others rather than for
What a piece of work is man! How noble in rea-
son! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving,
how express and admirable! ^ In action, hoiu like an
angel! In apprehension, hozv like a god!
He was not born to shame:
Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit;
For 'tis a throne where honor may be crowned
Sole monarch of the universal earth.
He hath a tear, and a hand
Open as the day, for melting charity.
GEN. GEORGE R. SMITH
He was a good and a just man, determined in pur-
pose, not to be shaken by the fury of a mob, or the
frown of a threatening tyrant.
— A Latin Poet.
It is the teaching of phrenology that there never was
a great woman who did not have a great father, and
never a great man who did not have a great mother.
Heredity and environment are the influences that
determine character and destiny. The first of all
blessings that can come to a child is to be born of
sweet and virtuous parentage into a genial home
where it is easy to do right and hard to do wrong.
The first distinction that came to Mrs. Martha E.
Smith is she was well born. The family both of her
father and of her mother in this country originated
in the colony of Virginia. They also shared the sac-
rifices, the toils, and the glories of the Revolution,
and later helped to frame the Constitution, which Mr.
William E. Gladstone pronounced the most wonder-
ful document ever struck at a given time from the
brain and the purpose of man.
— Eleven —
"Great were the thoughts and strong the mind
Of those who formed in high debate
The immortal league of love that binds
Our fair broad empire state to state."
Her father, the lamented Gen. George R. Smith,
was a man of heroic mold, both in body and in mind.
At his birth "Nature and fortune joined to make him
great. On his brow every god did set his seal to
give the world assurance of a man." In form and
feature he was a son of Anak. He was a conspicuous
figure in any company. In personal appearance there
was a striking resemblance between General Smith
and the late Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, the most
colossal figure who was ever at the head of our army.
He was both the wonder and the admiration of the
Mexican people as he led his triumphant columns into
the capital. General Smith's calm, benevolent face,
set in a frame-work of iron gray hair, was a study
for an artist. It was a face that good women and
little children loved and trusted. To such he was as
the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. He
wore without abuse the grand old name of gentle-
man. "He was as kind a man as ever trod on shoe
leather ; mighty good to the poor ; a main friend to
all honest people, and had a face like a benediction."
His mind was well balanced, active and alert. It
had the logic of instinct and went straight to a con-
clusion without any long or tortuous course of rea-
soning. He divined while others delved. In many of
— Twelve —
the finer and the diviner things of life that made for
the well-being and the happiness of the race he lived
a hundred years in advance of his generation. His
library was large and well selected. His books, next
to his family, were his chief companions. His in-
formation was varied, extensive and accurate. He
had a genius for work whether dealing with the prob-
lems of business, the affairs of state, or the study of
a great book. He read the best literature, both of
the present and the past. This put him in touch with
the best thought of the world and kept him abreast
of the advancing age in which he lived. His ver-
satility of talent was remarkable. He was original
both in thought and method. Not content to always
follow the broad and beaten way, he marked out for
himself new paths into unexplored fields. He was a
beacon to his neighbors, lured them to higher worlds
and led the way. He was capable of great emancipa-
tions. Most men are not. They anchor early and
stay anchored. The changing thought and life of the
world may disturb them, but it never moves them
on and out into the ever-widening circles of truth and
vision. Once determined on a great enterprise Gen-
eral Smith took no counsel with his doubts. He be-
lieved that "doubts are traitors and make us lose the
good we oft might win by fearing to attempt it." He
burned the bridges behind him, cut off all avenues
of retreat, and pressed forward till he reached the
goal and received the crown. In a proposed course
— Thirteen —
of conduct he never calculated the sacrifice. His only-
question was: "Is it right?"
His constructive ability was wonderful. He built
one of the most substantial and stately homes in his
town at the time. It stands today in the midst of
ample and well kept grounds. He went onto an open
prairie and began the construction of a city with wide
streets and reservations for parks. He gave the place
a wdnsome name in honor of his daughter, although
he had to coin the word, Sedalia, which comes from
Sed, a pet name for Sarah. This beautiful town with
its beautiful name, and still more beautiful in the
blue of the skies that bend over it, is the metropolis
of central Missouri. He was the leading spirit in the
promotion and the construction of a railroad that
stretches across the continent from the Mississippi
river to the Pacific ocean. This was done in the
face of determined opposition, discouragement and
derision. Some intelligent people made the pious re-
mark that men like Senator Thomas H. Benton and
Gen. George R. Smith ought to be placed in the
lunatic asylum at Fulton, all because they dared to
dream that a railroad could be built across the great
American desert and the Rocky Mountains to the
Golden Gate. In later years the dream of these pio-
neers of whom the world was not worthy, became a
General Smith used to say to the citizens of George-
town, who opposed his efforts to secure the Missouri
Pacific Railway, that some day he would make George-
— Fourteen —
town a habitation for bats and owls. This prophecy
was strikingly fulfilled. The writer of this tribute
while living in Sedalia some years ago had occasion
to visit Georgetown, the former county seat only
three miles away. The glory of the place, like the
glory of Babylon, had departed. With few excep-
tions, all the population had moved away, mostly to
Sedalia. There was nothing to suggest that it was
once the commercial center of the county, and the
home of many able and distinguished men, such as
the lamented Senator George G. Vest and Judge Jno.
F. Phillips. The old courthouse was still standing,
but could scarcely be seen for the luxurious growth
of weeds and sprouting locust trees which reached
almost to the top of the building. The glass in the
windows was broken and the spaces were covered
with cobwebs. A rabbit or a squirrel occasionally
scampered across the paths where the streets used
to be. The little breeze that lingered in the trees,
the cooing of the dove, the music of the birds, the
song and the flow of running water from the spring,
were the only sounds that broke the silence of the
summer evening. Everything was curiously sugges-
tive of certain well-known lines in Oliver Goldsmith's
"Deserted Village :"
Here, as I take my solitary rounds,
Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined grounds,
And, many a year elapsed, returned to view
Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,
— Fifteen —
Remembrance wakes zvith all her busy train.
Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
* * *
Sivcet was the sound, zvhen oft at evening's close
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I passed ivith careless step and sloiv,
The mingling notes came softened from beloiv;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
The sober herd that lozved to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watchdog's voice that bayed the whispering zvind.
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
And filled each pause the ^lightingale had made;
But now the sounds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
For all the blooming flush of life is dead.
The home Hfe of General Smith was ideal. His
wife and their two daughters were the objects of his
fondest devotion. He considered money valuable as
a means, never as an end. During his lifetime of
threescore and fifteen years he accumulated a large
fortune as fortunes were estimated in that day. This
he used for the comfort of his family, the advance-
ment of the kingdom of God, and the pleasure of his
friends. He did good by stealth, and blushed to find
it fame. To him a sordid deed was appalling, and a
wound a crucifixion. His heart was as sensitive to
— Si.vtceii —
pain as the needle of the compass to a disturbing in-
fluence. He never willingly planted a thorn in any
man's bosom. In a supreme crisis he stood and did
the right utterly regardless of the result. Those whose
lives he touched in helpful ways were a great mul-
titude. When the ear heard him, then it blessed him ;
when the eye saw him, it gave witness to him, be-
cause he delivered the poor that cried, and the father-
less, and him that had no helper. The blessing of him
that was ready to perish came upon him, and he
caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
When a good man dies various discoveries are made.
The most interesting of these is the character and the
love of some who called him friend. The following
note from a gifted and grateful woman was read by
the officiating minister on the occasion of General
Smith's funeral :
"My Dear Mrs. Cotton and Mrs. Smith:
"Please accept these flowers and place them in the
room where your father's body lies. The flowers
were plucked from grounds which would not be ours
but for the patronage and the kindness of General
This grateful note calls to mind a paragraph from
one of Ian Maclaren's little books in which he men-
tions what sometimes comes to light after one dies
who made friends among the lowly and who did good
in quiet ways:
— Seventeen —
"The people supposed that they could mention ev-
ery person whom he trusted and who influenced him,
because they could run over the names joined with
his in public affairs and heard from his lips. The
multitude were not aware that this man escaped as
often as was possible from the glare of public life,
and hid himself in some country home where the
scent of roses floated in through the open windows,
and manners had a gentle simplicity. Some tribute
will be found among the great man's papers to an
absent friend; but no one will ever know what passed
between those two when they sat in some quiet gar-
den at set of sun, for neither ever told : or read the
letters they wrote one to the other, for they are de-
General Smith was the center of attraction in any
social gathering. He cultivated the art of listening
as well as talking. His sense of humor was devel-
oped to a high degree. He was fond of anecdote,
and was good at repartee — which was often both grim
and emphatic. W^alking on Ohio street one morning
he chanced to meet Col. Thomas T. Crittenden, of
Warrensburg, a Chesterfield in politeness, a member
of Congress, and, later, governor of the state. Colonel
Crittenden greeted his old friend and comrade in the
most cordial manner, extending his hand, and say-
ing: "Good morning, General Smith, how is your
health, and what do you know?" "One thing I know
very well, Colonel Crittenden," said General Smith,
"and that is every one of you abominable Democrats
— Eighteen —
HER PAT HER
ought to be hung!" He was a devout member of
the First Christian Church in Sedalia, was punctual
in attendance on the pubhc worship, came early and
sat on the front seat. These admirable traits were a
wholesome example to those who came late and sat
far back. One Sunday morning the members were
voting on the names of several gentlemen who had
been nominated for the office of deacon. Among the
number was one who was not regular in attendance
on divine service. The vote was by ballot. As the
name of this delinquent member was called again and
again, the venerable General Smith said right out in
tones that all could hear: "I do not see why any-
body would vote for a man who never comes to
church ! As for me I would as soon vote for the man
in the moon !''
In the early days of Sedalia General Smith used
to sell lots on easy terms to people of small means,
the payments to be made in installments. On one
occasion a gentleman who bought a place for a home
on this plan, came to make the last payment of one
hundred dollars. Before leaving his home he placed
a roll of bills in his coat pocket as he supposed. When
he reached General Smith and proposed to pay the
balance on the lot, the money could not be found,
although he solemnly assured the generous creditor
that he put the money in his pocket on leaving home.
General Smith relieved the embarrassing situation by
telling his debtor that he was sorry for his misfortune,
and that he was entirely walling to wait till the money
— Nineteen —
could be found or secured in some other way. The
gentleman thanked his benefactor and returned to his
home. Some weeks later this man's wife had oc-
casion to make some repairs on his coat, when lo !
the roll of bills was found safely lodged within the
lining of his coat ! He took the money at once to Gen-
eral Smith and explained the circumstance. Taking
his friend by the hand, General Smith looked into his
face and said : "When you came to me some time
ago and told me the story about having the money
and losing it on the way I thought you were lying,
but what you now say is reasonable, consistent, satis-
factory, and proves you to be a sincere and an honest
man. I return to you fifty dollars of this money to
use as you like."
After the expression of grateful thanks to his gen-
erous friend the man went back to his family with
a prouder and a happier heart than he had known
for many a long day.
To the minister of the evangel of Christ General
Smith was a lovable, sympathetic, and helpful friend.
He had the listening ear and the understanding heart.
His face, on which were written the ten command-
ments, was an inspiration to the sermon. He knew
the value of an encouraging word, and how to speak
it in a sincere and modest way. When he ventured
an adverse criticism, or an admonition, it was a soft
rebuke in blessings ending, and won both gratitude
and affection. Fortunate was the young man who
came within the radius of his influence. He warned,
— Tzventy —
admonished, foretold the danger, and the lurking
enemy. He had pronounced views on the institution
of slavery and the manufacture and the sale of in-
toxicating liquors. These views he maintained with
determined resolution, even if opposed by his best
friends and neighbors. The Lord be praised, he lived
to see one of these evils abolished and the other great-
ly diminished and certain, soon or late, to be banished
from every state. He was a patriot who worshiped
God and reverenced the flag. A word against either
would bring down his condemnation. The following
lines had his grateful approval :
"Flag of the free hearts, hope and home
By angel hands to -valor given,
The stars have lit the welcome dome
And all thy lines were horn in heaven."
Nothing in the life of General Smith became him
more than the manner of his leaving it. The closing
scene was tranquil like a peaceful river with green
and shaded banks flowing without a murmur into the
waveless sea where life is rest. It was midsummer.
On the soft unbroken south wind was the odor of
many flowers. In the trees the birds were making
music such as pleased the ear of God. It was a
place where angels, who are ministering spirits to the
heirs of salvation, would love to stay their waving
wings. To those who stood by the bedside and watched
the coming of a pulseless sleep it did not seem like
— Twenty-one —
death. "It was but crossing with abated breath and
white, set face, a little strip of sea." To this day the
memory of the scene lingers in the heart like a star
in the sky.' The mind of General Smith did not fail
with the crumbling house of clay as is so frequently
the case with the aged and the infirm. The lamented
Mr. Joseph B. McCullagh, the brilliant editor, used
to say of his friends, Rev. Dr. McAnally and Arch-
bishop Kenrick : "Their minds seemed to fail with
their bodies, but immortality must be a divine reality."
When General Smith entered the valley of shadows
he feared no evil, for he felt no sin. He knew whom
he believed, and was persuaded that he was able to
keep that which he had committed to him. He real-
ized that he was going to the country he had all his
life wanted to see, and to which he looked forward
with intense and reverent curiosity. His last moments
were curiously suggestive of the experience of the
saintly Payson, who said as he looked into heaven :
"Its glories beam upon me, its breezes fan me, its odors
are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my ears, and
its spirit is breathed into my heart."
GEORGE R. SMITH
Stalwart and brave, like the oak on the mountain,
A monarch he stood in storms rushing by;
Hvimanity's friend — an o'erflowing fountain —
He gave of his bounty to all who were nigh.
Rock in a land that was pining for shadow,
Where weary ones halting, found rest in its shade;
Unmindful of race or of color or station,
No call came in vain that humanity made.
A patriot true, his heart knew no section —
His country his glory, — her pride was his own ;
Her children alike should share the protection
Guaranteed by the flag that gave them a home.
Sustainer of Truth, of Right the defender;
No matter how strong their opposers were found
No parley he made, nor thought of surrender —
No compromise — for the bauble of place or renown.
For innocent childhood his heart was o'erflowing
With sweetness and love as pure as their own;
And tenderly guarding the pure rights of woman,
The place he assigned her in the world was a throne.
— Twenty-three —
But the feet that so long had been treading the highlands
At last in the valley of shadow were stayed,
And angels seemed wreathing invisible garlands
Of the bright deeds and virtues his life had portrayed.
With love and with prayer we tried to constrain him,
But hearkening to voices over the sea,
Our cries were unheeded, we could not detain him ;
The strong man grew silent, the spirit was free.
Not idly nor sadly did he enter the valley ;
With harness all on for the duties of earth,
God lovingly led him into the shadow.
And gave him the glory of immortal birth.
His life work is over. Lay him down without weeping.
The dear hands are empty. Fold them now on his breast.
The heights were all mounted, but the spirit's pure keeping
Never waned for one moment. Lav him down to his rest.
Sedalia, Mo., August, 1879.
The same fond mother bent at night
O'er each fair sleeping brow;
She had each folded flower in sight.
— Mrs. Hemans.
Stories first heard at a mother's knee are never
wholly forgotten — a little spring that never quite dries
lip in our journey through scorching years.
Sweet is the image of the brooding dove!
Holy as heaven a mother's tender love!
The love of many prayers, and many tears
Which changes not with dim, declining years —
The only love, which on this teeming earth,
Asks no return for passion's wayward birth.
— Mrs. Norton.
"The mother, in her office, holds the key
Of the soul; and she it is who stamps the coin
Of character, and makes the being who would be a
But for her gentle cares, a Christian man.
Then crown her queen o' the world."
MRS. GEORGE R. SMITH
A perfect woman, nobly formed
To zvarn, to comfort, and command ;
And yet in spirit still and bright,
With something of an angel light.
It is a trite, but a true saying, that a man can
build a house, only a woman can make a home. While
Mrs. Smith inherited much from her father, she owed
more to her mother for her beautiful character, dis-
position, education and culture. The mother was a
constant example to the daughter of what a woman
ought to be. She was complete in feature and in mind
with all good graces to grace a home — a realm in
which she reigned like a queen. Hers was a rare
and radiant spirit, and a "heart as clean as morning
roses newly washed with dew." To say or do a
harsh thing gave her nights of solitude and sorrow.
If it is only noble to be good, then in her veins flowed
royal blood. A nobler woman never broke bread at
the table of a court. Her charity and her sympathy
were suggestive of the Master, who was moved with
— Tweniv-seveii —
compassion when he saw the muhitudes scattered
abroad Hke sheep withovit a shepherd, when the snow
shuts out the sky. Like the Father in heaven, who
makes the sun to rise upon the evil and the good and
sends the rain on the just and the unjust, her benevo-
lence was to all alike, regardless of race or color,
creed or no creed.' This service was performed in
patient, uncomplaining contentment with her circum-
stances, often in the homes of the poor, the humble
and the outcast. Her only desire was to follow in
the footsteps of Him who went about doing good.
The fragrance of her memory has survived the buried
years, and is still sweet in many a heart and in many
a home, even as the odor of a flower remains long
after the vase has been broken. The mosque of Saint
Sophia in Constantinople is always sweet with the
perfume of musk. It has been so ever since it was
built a thousand years ago. This is curious because
nothing is done to keep it perfumed. The explana-
tion is found in the fact that w^hen it was built the
brick and the stone were laid in mortar mixed with
a solution of musk.
It must be somewhere written in the purposes of
God, who works all things after the counsel of his
own will, that the virtues of the mother shall be vis-
ited on the children in every generation till the end
of time. The ways of Providence both to the evil
and the good are not easily understood. It is the
testimony of England's greatest bard that "some rise
by sin and some by virtue fall ; some run through
— Tiventy-eight —
brakes of vice and answer none, and some condemned
for a fault alone." When the records of time are
written and the books are opened beyond the river
that men call death, much that was dark on earth
will be bright and beautiful in heaven. It will be
seen that all that was best in men may be traced to a
woman's love and a woman's hands. Robert Pol-
lok, speaking of his wonderful epic, "The Course of
Time," said : "It has my mother's divinity in it." Mr.
David Hume, the historian, bears this beautiful testi-
mony to the nobility of his mother: "When I think
of my mother I believe in immortality. There was
that in her character which I can not reconcile with
final dissolution." Benjamin West, the greatest
American artist, whose masterpiece is Christ healing
the sick, made the suggestive remark: "A kiss from
my mother made me a painter." This refers to his
first effort when as a child he sketched a life-like pic-
ture of his baby sister. The good Bishop Phillips
Brooks, while on a visit to England, was invited to
preach before Queen Victoria. On his return to Bos-
ton he was asked if he did not speak with some de-
gree of embarrassment in the presence of her majesty.
He made the admirable reply: "Why should I have
been embarrassed? I had already preached before my
mother!" Long years after Mrs. Smith had gained
the peace of death and the victory of everlasting life,
her grateful husband paid her the following graceful
tribute: "She is as present with me now as when she
was living. Had it not been for her. I should not
— Twenty-nittc —
have been worth anything either morally or financially.
She had more wisdom than any other woman I ever
knew." Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton, the younger daugh-
ter, bears the following testimony to the character of
her mother: "I remember her in my childhood days
as one I could not easily get around ; a woman keen
and vigilant in the management of her household; a
mother tender and loving, kind and sagacious ; a wife
faithful and true ; strict in discipline and holding wise-
ly the reins of power.
"As a neighbor she was kind and obliging, but she
never fell into the familiarity that breeds contempt.
Refusing to borrow under almost any circumstances,
she held the esteem and love of her next door neigh-
bor; scorning gossip, she kept largely at home, feel-
ing that her hands were full in training her children
"Her daughters, she had determined, should not be
victims to the evils of slavery as she felt that she had
been. To this end she bent her efforts daily. Not
wishing us to be idle, she found something for us to
do in learning to knit, to sew, to wind yarn — cotton
especially, for in those days the negroes wove much
of the cloth they wore — and a thousand other domestic
duties — many times inventing them just to keep us
busy. Once when she was making us work and wait
on ourselves, while a slave stood idly looking on, a
sister-in-law remonstrated with her, saying: 'Sister
Melita, you will ruin that negro !' My mother pleas-
antly replied : 'Well, I would rather ruin the negro
— Thirty —
than ruin my children.' I remember one experience
in winding yarn that tried my impatient soul severely.
I had permitted it to tangle, and I think my mother
kept me at that 'hank' almost a week. I have for-
gotten just how long it was, but I know that no snarl
of yarn or silk appalls me now, for I feel equal to
the task. Whether this discipline was wise or not. I
dare not say in the multitude of latter-day opinions ;
but am sure it taught me patience.
"I was a wayward child, and thought that our mother
was giving us more work than was necessary. I once
tried to argue with her, and asked for a reason. She
said she wished 'us to love work.' I replied most
earnestly: 'Well, if that is what you want, mother,
you can never, never, never make me love it !' She,
of course, smiled and pursued the even tenor of her
way, nothing daunted in her courage. Time has proved
that my mother knew best, and I thank her today for
what then chafed my idle spirit and curbed my youth-
"When we rebelled we were sure of a time of retri-
bution. She never would strike us hastily with her
hand, but would make the punishment so delicate and
circumstantial that the final demonstration, though a
trifle, was to our child hearts very, very bad. She
would send for a switch by one of the servants, and
thus give us a time of anticipation and horror. The
capital offense was going outside our large dooryard
to play. Our mother kept us in strict surveillance
— Thirty-one —
and held us within its Hmits, except by special per-
mission when we had good company.
"I remember her as somewhat fond of dress, though
compared to my Aunt Elvira, for whom I was named,
and who dressed beautifully, she was very plain in
costume. But in my love of colors, I remember her
in pink and white, and blue and white ginghams; in
olive green in winter, and in white in summer. She
did not like black, and would never wear it, even as
mourning for the nearest and dearest of her family.
She thought gladness and brightness the important
things and her cheerfulness was a great feature in her
life. She would keep us busy in some way during
the day, and when twilight came she would romp and
play with us. These seasons of recreation were such
bright spots in the daily life that their memory to
this hour gives special cliarm to the evening."
Happy are the children who carry in their hearts
the memory of a devoted mother. Nothing can ever
beguile them from the spell of her love, her teach-
ing and her influence.
"There is not a heart that is not haunted so,
Though far we may stray from the scenes of the
Its memories will follow wherever we go,
And the days that were first, sway the days that
THE EARLY YEARS
"Who lives to nature rarely can be poor;
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich."
"Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few."
Who can paint
Like nature F Can imagination boast.
Amid its gay creation, hues like hersf
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blows t
Nothing is lost on him who sees
With an eye that genius gave;
For him there's a story in every breeze,
And a picture in every wave.
Upon the paths of nature, and zchen all
Its voices whisper, and its silent things
Are breathing the deep beauty of the world,
Kneel at its sitnple altar, and the God
Who hath the living waters, shall be there.
MRS. SARAH E.COTTON
THE EARLY YEARS
Life is a leaf of paper white —
Whereon each of us may write
His word or two — and then comes night.
It is enough
To see one ray of light for us to judge
The glory of the sun; it is enough
To catch one glimpse of heaven's blue
For us to know the beauty of the sky.
It is enough to tell a little part
Of her most holy life, that you may know
The hidden grace and splendor of the whole.
— Abram J. Ryan.
The lamented Dr. Joseph Cook used to say: "I
was not born in Boston, therefore I must be born
again." This was meant for humor, but it suggests
a general truth. Both the time and the place of one's
birth have much to do in shaping his character and
destiny. Napoleon Bonaparte, speaking of his past
life, said, "Not even my son can replace me." The
conditions that fashioned the destiny of the great sol-
— Thirty- five —
dier had changed at the end of his dramatic career.
A few might take his place, but none could fill it.
Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Smith was born in the far-
famed blue grass region of Kentucky, on Sunday,
January tenth, eighteen hundred and thirty. The place
of her nativity was Franklin county, in which is lo-
cated the capital of the state. It is an interesting co-
incidence that the gallant Theodore O'Hara, lyric poet,
editor, and soldier of two wars, was also a native of this
county. His remains are buried in the State C^meter)-'
at Frankfort. His immortal lyric, "The Bivouac of
the Dead," has made his name a household word in
every patriotic home. The following quatrain from
his poem is cast in bronze and placed in all our national
"On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead."
Kentucky has the great distinction of being the
first territory to come into the sisterhood of states after
the adoption of the Constitution by the thirteen col-
onies. It was settled by emigrants from Virginia,
who came west to find better opportunities. These
people were from the best families of the Old Do-
minion. Mrs. Smith's grandparents on both sides be-
longed to this Virginia stock. The people on the At-
— Thirtv-six —
THE EARLY YEARS
lantic seaboard, like Abraham, when he left Haran,
went west on parallels of latitude. This is the secret
of the fact that the traditions and the customs of the
people on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line con-
tinue about as they were from the beginning. This
emigration began at the close of the Revolutionary
War, and extended westward across the great plains
and the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The
people of the United States, like the ancient Greeks,
thirst for the horizon. Charles Dickens came to this
country in eighteen hundred and forty-two. He ex-
tended his visit as far into the interior as Saint Louis.
He was a student of human nature. Nothing that was
of interest to a thoughtful mind escaped his notice.
He could see, and fitly describe, more interesting ob-
jects in a single town than most men could on a con-
tinent. In his American Notes he says : "The typical
American would hesitate to enter heaven until as-
sured that he could go a little farther west."
From this sturdy stock who peopled the West, came
a multitude of able and distinguished men. Kentucky
was the home of Henry Clay and the birthplace both
of Abraham Lincoln and Jefiferson Davis. John Sher-
man belonged to a family that came from Connecticut
to Ohio. Allen G. Thurman, his associate in the
United States Senate, emigrated with his father's fam-
ily from Virginia. Some one who made painstaking
investigation, said : "All the great generals in the
Union army during the Civil War were mainly from
the West, and none from New England." The con-
— Thirty-seven —
ditions in the West were such as to develop men and
women of rugged character and striking personaHty.
This movement of the population westward is a study
for the philosopher as well as the historian.
"It is the tread of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be;
The first low wash of zvaves,
Where soon shall roll a human sea.
The rudiments of empire here
Are plastic yet and zvarm;
The chaos of a mighty world
Is rounding into form."
Mrs. Smith, though born in Kentucky, was destined
to be reared, to live a long life, and finally to be buried
under other skies. When an infant, not four years
old, her father and mother with their two daughters
emigrated to Missouri, a rising young commonwealth
that had come into the Union thirteen years before.
They located in Pettis county, the central part of the
state. General Smith bought a large body of land
which in the end made him a wealthy man. It seems
fabulous that the fertile soil of central Missouri once
sold for twelve and a half cents an acre. Saline county
has as rich ground as can be found in the world. It
is today more valuable than the fabled wealth Croe-
sus gained from his victories, his mines, and the golden
sands of Pactolus. In the days of the stagecoach and
the ox- wagon, it was a long and tedious journey from
Georgetown, Kentucky, to Pettis county, Missouri,
— Thirty-eight —
THE EARLY YEARS
Mrs. Smith, in her own beautiful way, tells the story
of the removal to the West :
"In the month of October, eighteen hundred and
thirty-three, our grandfather. General David Thomson,
and grandmother left their home in Scott county, Ken-
tucky, with eight of their children, to make a new
home in Missouri. Our mother and grandmother, our
two young girl aunts, my sister and myself, all trav-
eled in one large carriage with a negro man, Jack-
son, driving and grandfather on horseback to find the
roads and judge of crossings over muddy places. The
carriage was a great yellow coach, closed all around
from air and light except for windows in the door.
It sat high upon the springs, and had folding steps by
which to ascend into its broad deep-cushioned seats.
On the outside was a driver's seat high up above the
horses, and behind was another large seat that hung
by broad belts of leather, for an outrider, whose duty
it was to open gates and attend the family. The whole
was drawn by a pair of horses caparisoned with the
ponderous trappings of the times. A saddle-horse ac-
companied the party which was used alternately by the
ladies to relieve the monotony and the tedium of the
journey. In another party went the caravan of ox-
wagons containing the furniture, looms, spinning
wheels — big and little — and tableware, together with
the negroes. The whole company of emigrants con-
sisted of eighty-eight persons, of whom seventy-five
"Before the final good-byes were spoken there were
— Thirty-nine —
many things to do. Among the most important of
these was the arranging to take or to leave entire
slave families together, so that there might be no in-
voluntary separation. The slaves had inter-married
with the neighbor's negroes, and our grandfather, be-
ing humane in his feelings, was unwilling to separate
them. To overcome this difficulty, he had to buy
where he could and sell where he must. This was no
little task among a number of thirty or forty people,
but finally it was accomplished as far as possible and
the caravan set out. The negroes — men and women,
the babies and the gray-haired grandparents-— were to
follow their master. There were five or six verj^ old
ones — Aunt Creasy, Aunt Kizzy, Uncle Toby, Aunt
Rachel, and Uncle Jack — who, as I remember them,
were oracles of wisdom, holding direct communication
with spirits, wizards and witches; and who would on
occasion deal out some of their mysterious spells to
us listening, wondering children, in the long, quiet
evenings that followed our settlement in the new coun-
try. Dear old Kentucky memories were to them hal-
lowed things of the beautiful, irrevocable past ; and
their faltering, trembling voices, their heavy lips, and
wrinkled faces only made their pathetic stories the
more sacred and the more tender to our too credulous
"Our father was to follow, after the settlement of
some business at Georgetown. Of the incidents of
the trip we must remain ignorant almost entirely, as
the writer — one of the babies in the carriage — can
— Forty —
THE EARLY YEARS
only remember a place called Purgatory, in Illinois,
where the road led through a swamp; and the mem-
ory goes that it really was a purgatory, as the image
of the floundering horses is vividly before her. An-
other scene that was impressed indelibly is the cross-
ing of the river in the ferryboat at Saint Louis, and
how frightened our mother and grandmother were.
The rest of the journey is lost in the baby memories
of the mind that is trying to record these incidents.
"Our Uncle Milton, who had charge of the negroes,
was moving on slowly, but was not long after us in
reaching the place of our destination. Our party, af-
ter tarrying with relatives for several weeks in Cal-
loway county, arrived in Pettis on the evening of the
twelfth of November, eighteen hundred and thirty-
three, and went into camp — so our grandfather's jour-
nal says — in the Lamine river bottom, at what is now
known as Scott's Ford. From about ten o'clock in
the evening until daybreak, they witnessed the cele-
brated display of meteors in the heavens. Dear old
Peggy, who was cook for our grandfather in his later
life, and died in eighteen hundred and ninety-eight,
at the age of seventy-seven, told vividly how fright-
ened the negroes were at the falling of the stars. 'We
were in camp by the Lamine river,' she said, 'and we
all thought the judgment had come. We could hear
the stars falling like hail on the tops of the tents.
The old folks all prayed, and we children "hollered."
The elements were ablaze. It done lasted for hours,
and we all never expected to see daylight no more !' "
— Forty-one —
IN HER NEW HOME
Only the home can found the state.
— Joseph Cook.
A cottage, if God be there, zvill hold as much of
happiness as might stock a palace. ._ ..
One's early home is no more than the memory of
early years. The image is never marred. There is
no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations
are always on the good side. ^ c;- x
-^ ^ — George hnot.
"Home can never be transferred — never repeated
in the experience of the individual. The place conse-
crated by paternal love, by the innocence and sports
of childhood, and by the first acquaintance of the heart
zvith nature, is the only true home."
In all my wand'rings round this world of care,
In all my griefs — and God has given my share —
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bow'rs to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close.
And keep the flame from wasting, by repose:
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still.
Amidst the swains to shozv my book-learn' d skill.
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt and all I saw;
And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue.
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past.
Here to return — and die at home at last.
IN HER NEW HOME
The first sure symptoms of a mind in health
Is rest of heart, and pleasures felt at home.
Home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where
Supporting and supported, polished friends
And dear relations mingle into bliss.
Cling to thy home! if there the meanest shed
Yield thee a hearth and shelter for thy head,
And some poor plot, with vegetables stored,
Be all that heaven allots thee for thy board —
Unsavory bread, and herbs that scattered grow,
Yet e'en this cheerless mansion shall provide
More heart's repose than all the world beside.
There is no braver story in history than the story
of the pioneers. It is replete with all that is heroic
in faith, courage, labor and sacrifice. The priva-
— Forty- five —
tions of the early settlers, however, had compensations
that seldom come to those who live in the leisure and
the luxury of the older communities. The perils of
even the highest civilization are greater than those that
beset life in new and sparsely settled countries. Those
who live in solitary places "find tongues in trees, books
in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good
in everything." It is the testimony of Street that Na-
ture is man's best teacher. She unfolds- her treasures
to his search, unseals his eye, illumines his mind, and
purifies his heart ; and influence breathes from all the
sights and sounds of her existence; she is wisdom's
Some of the most admirable women who have ever
lived were born and reared on the frontier. They shed
the sweet light and grace of a holy example where
few besides God and the angels could see and under-
stand. In patient toil and personal sacrifices the foun-
dations were laid for homes, schools, churches, towns
and cities, which have become the splendid heritage
of a younger generation. Thus one sows and another
reaps, and gathers fruit to life eternal, that both he
that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together.
There will be no dearer, sweeter remembrances in
heaven than those of the early settlers, who sowed
precious seeds in solitary places, caused the wilder-
ness to be glad, and made the desert to blossom as
the rose. Man's first commission, given in the Gar-
den of Eden, was to be fruitful, to multiply, to re-
plenish the earth, and to subdue it. Later the prom-
— Fortv-six —
IN HER NEW HOME
ise was given that while the earth remains, seed time
and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and
day and night shall not cease. At this remote day
God does not leave himself without witness. He still
sends the rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, fill-
ing our hearts with food gladness. The seasons come
and go, and go and come, to teach man gratitude.
Mrs. Smith tells in the following paragraphs some
incidents and experiences in founding the home in the
"Among our grandfather's colored men were a car-
penter, a stonemason, and a millwright, besides the
farmhands ; and among the w^omen a weaver, a spin-
ner, cooks, and housemaids, so that the elements of a
rude civilization were in the family. On a tract of
timber land which our grandfather had bought on
Muddy creek, several cabins were ready ; and into
these we moved with our grandfather. A little later
our mother's oldest sister, her husband, Mr. Redd
Major, and their little family of three girls and one
boy, located not far away. These were pleasant days
to me, and in the golden retrospect there is no want
of any luxury or happiness in the dear humble homes,
lighted as they were by my mother's and grandmoth-
er's gentle faces, and Aunt Elvira's good cheer, that
made all the children happy. There were, also, dear
Aunt Marion and Aunt Melcena. and Cousin Ann, and
Cousin Evelyn, the oldest of Aunt Elvira's daugh-
ters. I looked with the envy of a child at their rap-
idly advancing womanhood, and a kind of reverence
— Forty-seven —
came over me, as I thought that mine with its privi-
leges v^ould never come. The other children of Aunt
Elvira were 'Bine' or Vienna — somewhat older than
myself — 'Johnny,' the youngest of all except my baby
"The cabins which were occupied during the first
winter were rude and crowded. The next year our
grandfather built some better and more commodious
ones on the southwest quarter of section seven, which
lies about three miles northwest of Georgetown.
These were arranged in a row, two and two together,
connected by an open passageway roofed over. His
own family occupied two of them until he could build
a better house; this, when built in eighteen hundred
and forty, was christened Elm Spring, and became
our grandfather's permanent home. The boys, Mor-
ton and Monroe, were sent back to Georgetown, Ken-
tucky, to complete their education. Later Milton
taught school in a log house built for the purpose about
half way between our Uncle Major's and our grand-
father's, where the children of both families first
started to school in the new country. Here he had as
pupils the neighbor's children, as well as his own lit-
tle sisters, Marion and Melcena, and the nieces and
"When our grandfather removed from the cabins
on the Muddy he sold them and the land about them
to our father. We had been living there about a year,
when one day a great misfortune befell us. Our
mother and father, with sister, had gone to visit our
— Forty-eight —
IN HER NEW HOME
Uncle Mentor, who had just brought his bride to a
log-cabin home in our locality. While they were away
our dear little house took fire and burned to the ground,
destroying all that we had. It was a serious loss. It
was our little all, brought at great expenditure from
our old home in Kentucky, and each piece had its
precious associations. All the relics and heirlooms
from our grandfather Smith were destroyed. We
were left destitute, indeed. Nothing was saved, not
even an article of clothing. I happened to be at my
grandfather's about a mile away for a few days and
had a change of clothing. Except for this, we were
deprived of everything and had to begin anew. My
only memory of the sad event is of seeing my mother
weep when she and my father, after turning away from
their home, came to my grandfather's for refuge. The
tableau of the negroes and white people is vividly im-
pressed on my memory, all looking toward the red
smoke that was still going up in the west. A kind
neighbor, Mrs. Reece, who lived about a half mile
from us, gave to my little sister a white cotton dress,
homegrown, homespun and homewoven. My mother's
eyes would fill with tears to the last day of her life,
when she would speak of this neighborly act.
"The calamity which overtook us was the more seri-
ous because there were no stores within our reach
from which to replenish our household goods, but
from our good grandmother's supply, our lost bed-
ding was partially restored, and our father's deft fin-
— • Forty-nine —
gers and willing heart soon supplied a more homely,
perhaps, but more precious, set of furniture from the
black walnut trees that skirted the stream nearby. Two
walnut chests, I recall, to the depths of which I often
had to go, standing on tiptoe — the one for clean bed-
ding, and the other for the laundried cotton under-
wear, which always had to go through a second air-
ing on chairs in front of the fire before being used.
Well do I remember, also, the bedstead with short up-
right posts that served for father and mother; and
the lower one, the little trundle-bed, with its rollers,
both of which might be called awkward in the pres-
ent stage of civilization, but which served well their
purpose in that day. That same little bed gave many
a sacred repose to our child forms, and many an un-
easy resting — or unresting — place when we were
shaken by the ague, from which none of us escaped.
The trundle-bed was, also, a shrine where the little
sisters knelt at night and said the prayers which they
had first learned at their mother's knee."
The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere,
And, like wing'd spirits, here and there
The firelight shadows come and go.
And as the shadows round, me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom.
And softly from a further room
Comes: "Now I lay me down to sleep."
— Fifty —
IN HER NEW HOME
And, somehow, with that pray'r
And that szveet treble in my ears.
My thought goes back to distant years.
And lingers with a dear one;
And OS I hear my child's "Amen,"
My mother's faith comes back to me —
Crouched at her side I seem to be.
And mother holds my hand again.
Oh, for an hour in that dear place —
Oh, for the peace of that dear time —
Oh, for a glimpse of mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone —
Sweet magic of that treble tone.
And "Noiv I lay me down to sleep."
- — Eugene Field.
LIFE IN GEORGETOWN
The place is dignified by the doer's deed.
He who thinks his place below him, will certainly
be below his place.
A true man never frets about his place in the world,
but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature,
and szvings there as easily as a star.
Whatever the place allotted to us by Providence,,
that, for us, is the post of honor and duty. God esti-
mates us not by the position we are in, but by the way
in which zve fill it.
HOME AT GEORGETOWN
LIFE IN GEORGETOWN
Where you are is of no moment, but only what
you are doing there. It is not the place that ennobles
you, but you the place; and this only by doing that
zvhich is great and noble.
Mrs. Smith could say of Georgetown, her second
home in the West, as Henry Grattan said of the cause
of Irish hberty : "I stood by its cradle, and I walked
with its hearse."
The village was laid out when she was a child five
years old. Gen. David Thomson, her grandfather,
was allowed to name the place. He called it George-
town, in sacred memory of the town in Kentucky from
which he came. The location was near the center
of the county, and beautiful for situation. The ground
was high, rolling, and covered with a natural growth
of trees. Two crystal springs furnished an abundant
supply of water at all seasons. By an act of the legis-
lature the town was made the county seat, and a beau-
tiful brick courthouse was built. Thirty years later
*'Mr. Geo. W. Bamett, a well-known attorney of Sedalia, &ave valuable
assistance in the preparation of this Chapter.
— Fifty- five —
the seat of justice was changed to the rising young
city of Sedaha. The population, soon or late, fol-
lowed the court, and "dear old Georgetown" became
a deserted village.
The home of General Smith, built in Georgetown
after the one destroyed by fire in the country, was
the second home built in the town. It was not long,
however, till the village began to grow by leaps and
bounds in population, religious, social and commer-
cial importance. Two brothers, Watson and Cliflford
Wood, came with their families, made beautiful homes
and opened a well equipped dry goods store. They
were admirable people who belonged to the aristoc-
racy of character and whose influence was felt for
good both in the religious and the social life of the
There was no physician nearer than Arrow Rock
or Boonville. It was a score of miles to one of
these places, and two score miles to the other. In
such a situation the average person could scarcely af-
ford to be sick. Man's extremity, however, is God's
opportunity. It is also often the doctor's opportunity
as well. The first resident physician in Georgetown
was Dr. Wilkins Watson, of Virginia, a singularly
gifted and skillful man. Together with his wife and
two little girls they were a winsome family. Their
home at once became a social center of refinement and
culture. This good physician, a general practitioner,
was a duplicate of Ian Maclaren's "Doctor of the Old
— Fifty-six —
LIFE IN GBORGBTOWN
School," the hero of his graceful little book, "Be-
side the Bonnie Brier Bush."
"Among the various callings there is one which
seems to confer a singular elevation and winsomeness
of character. Its members have a firmer hold on the
love of the people than any other body of men. They
have won their just and enviable esteem by a habit
of unparalleled self-sacrifice. No one serves his fel-
lows at greater cost to himself, or with a more abso-
lute disregard of himself than a physician. If any-
one, indeed, has fulfilled the sermon on the mount,
and exhibited the spirit of Christ in action, it is this
man. Yet how few have been his religious privileges,
who is largely cut off from the word and the sacra-
ment, who labors while others worship, and is apt
to be beset by various trials of faith. It is evident
that he must enjoy some powerful compensation and
that some influence atones to him for what sanctifies
others and he has lost. It is certain that this fine
influence must be the constant contact with suffering
from day to day, till under the necessary composure
of his manner, and a natural repudiation of senti-
ment his heart has been shaped to pity and his will
to service. They who serve unceasingly before the
altar of suffering receive their reward."
It is a trite but true saying that "it never rains,
but it pours." The location of Dr. Watson in George-
town was soon followed by the arrival of Dr. Morse,
Dr. Snoddy, Dr. Spedden, Dr. Farris, Dr. Bidstrap,
and Dr. Westerfield, all good men, efficient in their
— Fifty-seven —
ancient and honorable profession. The law was rep-
resented by able men, some of whom later won dis-
tinction in national affairs. James L. English, the
Hughes brothers, George Heard, father of Jno. T.
Heard, many years a member of Congress, and
Judge Russell Hicks, were among the first lawyers.
Around the middle of the last century two strangely
gifted and brilliant young men, graduates of Center
College, Danville, Kentucky, located in Georgetown,
and began the practice of law. One was Geo. G. Vest
and the other was John F. Phillips. At the beginning
of the Civil War Mr. Vest cast his fortunes with the
South, and represented his state in the Confederate
Congress at Richmond. Mr. Phillips, on the other
hand, drew his sword in defense of the Union, and
rose to the rank of colonel. After peace was made,
Mr. Vest, for four and twenty years, was in the United
States Senate, and used to be fond of speaking of him-
self as a senator of two republics. Col. John F. Phil-
lips was once elected to Congress. Later President
Cleveland appointed him United States district judge.
His capacities and attainments would grace the su-
preme bench. Major William Gentry was for many
years a member of the County Court, and later w^as
made Judge emeritus.
The first ministers of the gospel at Georgetown were
Rev. Mr. Wolf and Rev. Allen Wright. Judge Ramey,
Judge Warren, and Mr. Ellis, the village blacksmith,
were to the manor born and kings of the realm. The
names of some other families, who lived in the town
— Fifty-eight —
LIFE IN GEORGETOWN
in her palmy days, were Hopkins, Ford, Moore, Wil-
liams, Montgomery, Henderson, Lightfoot, Benson,
Agee, Courtney, De Jarnette, Brown, Hogue, Bard,
Sneed, Barry, Ryland, Barnes, McClure, Robinson,
Fristoe, Clopton, Blakemore, Jenkins, McVey, Ramey,
Edmondson, and Jenny. Good Captain Kidd, whom
everybody loved, kept the only hotel in the place. He
had an estimable wife and eight charming daughters
who possessed all good graces both to keep a restful
home for weary travelers and to make merry for the
young people of the whole community. On public
days and long winter evenings this "tavern" was the
scene of many gay and happy gatherings.
"Thither went they gayly! gayly!
Where their eoming was a joy,
Just to pass away together
One long day without alloy.
Not a brozv with cloud upon it —
Not an eye that seemed to knoiv
What a tear is; not a bosom
That had ever nursed a woe.
"How swiftly! swiftly! szmftly!
Like the ripples of a stream,
Did the bright hours chase each other
Till it all seemed like a dream:
Till it seemed as if no Never
Ever in this zvorld had been,
To o'ercloud the bright Forever,
Shining o'er the happy scene."
— Fifty-nine —
The following paragraphs from the graceful pen of
Mrs. Sarah E. Cotton will be a fitting close to this
"My heart is moved to pay this tribute of love to
the memory of a sister who said many kind words of
me, and also of others who were dear friends of ours.
We were the closest companions both in girlhood days
and in the later years. Our life in dear old George-
town was halcyon and happy. Nothing ever occurred
— either of joy or sorrow — to dim its pleasant mem-
ory. Life for us ran quietly as the brook by which
" 'A charm from the sky
Seemed to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world,
Is not found elsewhere.
" 'Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes.
And fondly broods with miser care;
Time the impression stronger makes.
As streams their channels deeper wear.'
"In a genial atmosphere of faith, hope and love, my
sister grew into a perfect flower of womanhood. Her
life in the early years was full of dreams and fancies,
characteristic of the girl 'standing with reluctant feet
where the brook and river meet.'
"Fond of the romance of travel she made a jour-
ney to Niagara Falls, the natural wonder of the new
world. The visit was extended to the Saint Lawrence,
— Sixty —
LIFE IN GEORGETOWN
and the great cities of Canada. Later she spent much
time in New York, and devoted a year to travel in
Europe. This passing from one country to another
and the constant change of scenery both broadened
her education and mitigated the memory of a sorrow
that was too deep for sympathy and too sad for tears.
I draw the veil over this ordeal and turn my thoughts
to happier things.
"She wrote beautifully both in prose and poetry.
Some of her poems are gems and possess real literary
merit. However, it is not on this account that I prize
them, but because they are particularly poems of the
heart. The secret of their beauty is the purity of their
thought. Even a stranger will discover in her lines
a wealth of sympathy and love as fragrant and re-
freshing as the breath of spring. Some one has said :
'My mind is my kingdom.' Sister had mental endow-
ments that would have been an apology for her using
this utterance, but she could more truly say: 'My
heart my kingdom is.' To be able to win and to hold
the affections is the supreme test of character. On
leaving London Lord Byron said :
" '/ go, hut wheresoe'cr I flee.
There's not one eye zvill weep for me,
There's not a kind congenial heart
Where I can claim the meanest part.'
"More precious to my sister than lands and houses
was the place she held in the love of those whose
— Sixty-one —
lives she touched in helpful ways. Without ostenta-
tion or display, modest and retiring, she was a woman
who wore the white flower of a blameless life. Lone-
ly without her I am still comforted with the reflec-
tion of what she did, the certainty of her reward,
and the hope of seeing her face to face in our Father's
" 'It is sweet to think hereafter
When the spirit leaves this sphere,
Love on deathless wings shall waft her
To those she long hath mourned for here.
Life from which 'twere death to sever,
Eyes this world can ne'er restore.
There as warm, as bright as ever.
Shall meet us and be lost no more.
Oh! if no other boon were given
To keep this heart from wrong and stain,
Who would not try to win a heaven
Where all zve love shall meet again?' "
— Sixty-two —
Love never fails, though knowledge cease,
Though prophecies decay.
Love, Christian love — shall still increase
Shall still extend her sway.
Is always mild, propitious, and humble,
Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood;
Nor bears destruction on her chariot-wheels;
But stoops to polish, succour, and redress.
And builds her grandeur on the public good.
Religion is equally the basis of private virtue and
public faith; of the happiness of the individual and
the prosperity of the nation.
True religion is the foundation of society, the basis
on which all civil government rests, and from which
power derives its authority, laws their efficacy, and
both their sanction.
Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to re-
ligion. The one can 7iot exist without the other. A
reasoning being would lose his reason in attempting to
account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not
a Supreme Being to whom to refer. Well has it been
said, "If there had been no God, mankind would have
been obliged to imagine one."
— Sixty-four —
MISS CHAPPELIER, MRS. SMITH
MISS VIE JONES, MRS. S. E. COTTON
True religion will make a man a more thorough
gentleman than all the courts in B-urope. You may see
simple laboring men as true gentlemen as any duke,
because they have learned to fear God; and fearing
him, to restrain themselves, which is the root and es-
sence of all good breeding.
— Charles Kingsley.
Religion is the fear and the love of God; its demon-
stration is good works. Faith is the root of both, for
without faith we cannot please God, nor can we fear
and love ivhat zve do not believe.
The early settlers of Georgetown were pious people
who reverenced God, divine institutions, and all sacred
things. They believed that the things of the kingdom
are of first importance. These Christians belonged to
the various religious bodies represented by those who
had come from the east where churches had been long
established, and trained both in the principles and the
practices taught in the New Testament. The homes,
the log school houses, and even the groves became
temples for the worship of God and the teaching of
— Sixty-five —
the divine word. After the courthouse was built it
afforded a place where devout people of every name
and of every creed could meet for divine service. Thus
the house of justice became also the house of prayer.
Mrs. Smith describes in graphic terms both the struc-
ture and the grounds :
"The building was erected handsomely and sub-
stantially, and the square was inclosed with a fence and
shaded with locust trees selected and planted by our
grandfather. In my eyes there never was a prettier
house. It was square, with a large door in the center
of each of the three sides, and a large window on each
side of the doors. The north side had the two win-
dows, but no door, the space between being occupied
by the judge's bench. This was a platform about four
feet high with chairs on it, and terminated at the two
windows with four or five steps. A balustrade fol-
lowed the whole length of steps and platform. A
stairway led to the second story. As my young feet
proudly ascended its lofty heights, I looked on the as-
sembled multitude with awe and admiration that have
not come to me since, even in the palaces of Europe.
The roof was beautiful, not simply a board-covered
comb, like our common cabin homes, but square and
shingled and terminated at its top with a lovely octag-
onal observatory, with green shutters hung to white
posts; and this also had a beautiful shingled roof.
The cupola in turn was surmounted by a tapering spire
that held a gilded globe with an arrow above on which
was pivoted a fish of gold that turned with the wind.
— Sixty-six —
How could anything be prettier? That lovely red
brick wall, with its painted windows and doors, that
splendid roof, and that beautiful cupola, up two
stories high ! And the ladies could go in, too ; for
within its walls they had big meetings, great revivals
of religion, schools, and sometimes temperance
speeches and lyceums. You can have no idea how the
sun shone on the courthouse, and how lovely the
moonlight fell and played its soft caressing touches
about the great locust trees. No, you can never
know ! Dear old Georgetown !"
One of the early ministers who held revival serv-
ices in the court-house was the Rev. Allen Wright, a
strangely gifted and pious man, who was identified
with the religous body known as Disciples of Christ.
Mrs. Smith and her mother were converted under his
preaching and together came into the fellowship of the
church in Georgetown. The following tribute to Mr.
Wright was written by the lamented Moses E. L,ard,
his life-long friend :
"Allen Wright's power lay not so much in his mind
as in his religious and moral traits. He was eminently
social. Few men mingled with the masses so success-
fully as he. His sound heart was free from all malice
and imbued with the largest love. He delighted in
the free off-hand life of the crowd, especially the re-
ligious crowd. He was moulded by it rather than
moulded it. He caught at once its easy, innocent
spirit, and delighted more than most men in its flow
of racy, kindly feeling. He laughed heartily, abounded
— Sixty-seven —
in rustic anecdotes, listened to what even a child would
say, and replied frankly; did not flatter any one, but
approved almost everything that seemed not positively
■wrong. In his salutations he was cordial, usually
rather grave and sentimental, never light nor trashy.
In a crowd he did not seem grand but good ; he struck
no one remarkably, but left all loving him for his art-
lessness and purity. The common people saw in him
what no one else saw in him but the common people,
all for the reason that he never neglected them nor
slighted them. He got close to them and they came
close to him. In the humble, honest crowd, Allen
Wright was always king. His adaptation to them and
to their ways was perfect ; and they repaid him with an
affection as pure as it was universal. To see him in
a frontier cabin, hat off, coat off, boots off, sitting a
little heavily in the chimney corner, with the domestic
cob pipe, smoking and talking to the family in his own
peculiarly grave and tender style ; and the secret of
his wonderful power over the masses became at once
explained. With that humble family in all its poverty,
its toils, its hardships, its sorrows, its bereavements,
he sympathized with a depth which made him the idol
of their hearts and the delight of their homes. To be
in one such honest abode, just after dinner, as the
Christian mother stood beside her table washing her
dishes, and told him the simple story of her buried
dead; to witness the feeling with which he entered
into that tale, and drank in those maternal sobs; to
hear his comfortings, and see him gild the future with
— Sixty-eight —
the hopes of its reunions in Christ; and dull must
have been the eye that could not see an element of
true greatness in Allen Wright. No bosom carried
a sorrow too secret or too sacred for him. He was
the confidant and the comforter of the stricken spirit.
Wherever death had blighted hopes or crushed hearts,
all leaned on him and wept as on a father. God had
mellowed his noble heart by afflictions in his own
family, and thus fitted him to act his part with won-
drous eifect in scenes like these. I never thought him
so great as when comforting the sorrowing children
of earth, and pointing them to the coming recom-
Many other eminent and gifted men preached the
gospel in Georgetown. It was virgin soil, genial al-
most to a miracle to the good seed of the kingdom.
Among the lovable and able ministers of the word
were Rev. George W. Longan, Rev. S. S. Church, and
Dr. W. H. Hopson. These gentlemen, in their palmy
days, were the equals of the most distinguished preach-
ers in this country. George W. Longan became the
ablest and most widely known essayist in the com-
munion of the Disciples of Christ. S. S. Church was
a striking figure in any company. He filled a leading
pulpit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for many years.
Later he was pastor of the First Christian Church in
Saint Louis. Dr. W. H. Hopson was one of the most
pleasing pulpit speakers in the state. He had all the
gifts of an orator. In sacred eloquence he was a
master. For many years he was the pastor of a great
— Sixty-nine —
church in Richmond, Virginia. Later he was the be-
loved minister of a still greater church in Louisville,
In eighteen hundred and fifty one Dr. Hopson held
a series of evangelistic services in Georgetown. An
interesting feature of the revival was the conversion of
fourteen young ladies from some of the best families
of the town. Ten of these converts made the good
confession at the same time. At the next service four
others followed the example of their companions, and
gave their hearts to Christ in the perpetual covenant
of love. When these young women appeared for bap-
tism they were all dressed in black silk. It was a
strange fancy, and made a striking scene. The ar-
rangement, however, was made among themselves,
and was equally pleasing to everyone. It was a beauti-
ful and impressive picture when the fourteen converts,
dressed in black, went into the water, their arms
around one another, and all remained till all were bap-
tized in the name of Him who led them out of dark-
ness into light.
Any mention of the men of the first rank who held
religious services in Georgetown in the early days
would be incomplete without some notice, however
brief and inadequate, of the Rev. Levi C. Marvin, a
Universalist minister of the school of Hosea Ballon.
He was born and reared in New Hampshire. He was
well educated, a gentleman of polished manners, beau-
tiful disposition, and high social position. When speak-
ing on the love of God, His wisdom, grace, mercy,
— Seventy —
goodness and compassion, he was invincible and made
a profound impression. Wherever he preached he
made converts to his peculiar views of religion, duty
and destiny, even if these converts made no public
confession of their conversion. It was thought that
Gen. David Thomson, Mrs. Smith's grandfather, was
among this class. Mr. Marvin was also an old school
abolishionist in spite of the fact that most of his
friends were slave holders. This is the best evidence
of his honesty and sincerity. His home was at Clinton.
In eighteen hundred and sixty he was the only man in
Henry county who cast his vote for Abraham Lincoln
and Hannibal Hamlin. It is a striking tribute both to
his high standing and the character of the good people
among whom he lived that he could vote as he did
without being intimidated or molested in any way.
This observation is made for the information of a
younger generation who can have no adequate idea
of how intense was the feeling on the slavery question
in the days preceding the Civil War which began soon
after the first election of Abraham Lincoln. Two
years later public sentiment had so changed that Rev.
Mr. Marvin was elected to the lower house of the
state legislature. When the house was organized he
was made the speaker. His brother, Major A. C.
Marvin, a Douglas Democrat, was the president of the
senate. When the two houses met in joint session to
elect a United States senator the two brothers sat side
by side on the platform as presiding ofificers of the as-
— • Seventy-one —
The friends of Rev. Mr. Marvin used to be fond of
telling the following circumstance :
After going through the distressing experiences of
the Civil War he was asked if he had changed his
mind on the subject of hell and the everlasting pun-
ishment of the impenitent. He made the suggestive,
characteristic, and emphatic reply :
"If there is no hell there ought to be one — at least
for some people !"
The hours are viewless angels,
That still go gliding by,
And bear each minute's record up
To Him who sits on high.
Not wholly can the heart unlearn
The lessons of its better hours.
Nor yet has Time's dull footstep worn
To common dust the path of flowers.
Still on it creeps.
Bach little moment at another's heels.
Till hours, days, years, and ages are made up
Of such small parts as these, and men look back
Worn and bewilder d, wondering how it is.
Thou travellest like a ship in the wide ocean,
Which hath no bounding shore to mark its progress.
"Spare moments are the gold dust of time: — of all
the portions of our life, the spare moments are the
most fruitful in good or evil. They are gaps through
zvhich temptations find easiest access to the garden of
Much may be done in those little shreds and patches
of time, which every day produces, and which most
men throzv away, but which nevertheless will make at
the end of it no small deduction from the life of man.
The moving finger writes; and, having writ
Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a ivord of it.
Early in life Mrs. Smith began to keep a journal
in which she carefully noted passing events, and some-
times offered moral reflections on the incidents she
recorded. This constant practice of reducing her
thoughts to writing gave her great facility and beauty
of expression, and disciplined her mind to sustained
and systematic thinking. Her composition is always
graceful and much of it classical both in conception
and expression. After the lapse of three score years
the handwriting is still beautiful, legible, and as plain
as print. In these degenerate days of the typewriter
and the postal card it is refreshing to read these ample
pages written by a woman's hand and dictated by a
woman's heart. The graceful writing of the olden
time is a lost art. Her letters that remain, are also
models of beauty, such as Thomas DeQuincy had in
mind when he wrote the following paragraph :
— Seventy-five —
"Would you desire at this day to read our noble
language in its native beauty, picturesque for its idio-
matic propriety, racy in its phraseology, delicate, yet
sinewy in its composition — steal the mail-bags and
break open all the letters in female handwriting."
The following extracts are from her journal which
was begun when she was twenty-five years old and
continued till a short time before her death. For the
sake of brevity all dates are omitted :
"By the grace and the mercy of my Holy Father I
am permitted to record the return of another birthday,
to look back on the varied lights and shadows, the
hopes and the disappointments, the loves and the
friendships, the childhood, youth and maidenhood of
twenty-five years. Have I nearly gained the zenith of
the hill of life? I am halting a short time on this em-
inence to view the beautiful landscape, the sweet mem-
ories of the past, and the bright hopes in the future,
before with the jostling crowd I begin the descent !"
"The whole secret of happiness lies in a firm and
unflinching discharge of duty, and perfect confidence
and trust in the God of love, to hope for the best and
to be prepared for the worst; to lift the heart above
the world, to endure all things for the glory of Him
who suffered on the cross that we might live."
"I called to see Miss Mollie Snell who came up
yesterday from Boonville, and found her all the
Doctor represented her to be, pleasing, intelligent, and,
— Seventy-six —
what I presume on longer acquaintance, will be a
pretty face, though my first impression is not that
she is pretty, but decidedly intelligent."
"How glad and thankful I am that I have such a
sweet home, devoted parents, kind and gentle sister,
and affectionate friends. Let me not receive all these
blessings without some return; let me study to make
myself worthy, to dispense joy and love to some
precious hearts, that I may not live in vain."
"I have spent this Lord's day sitting with mother at
her fire, and reading Dodridge's sermons on the evi-
dences of Christianity, the Bible and the Harbinger."
"While in Jefferson City, went to church on Sun-
day. Heard an excellent discourse from the Rev. Dr.
Boyle. When the Lord's supper was spread, his in-
vitation to all Christians was so beautiful and so com-
prehensive that I knelt with the Methodists around
the altar. I enjoyed it and felt that we were children
gathered around the table of our common Father."
"Went to the penitentiary. Saw the convicts in their
various occupations, their different apartments, and
felt that human nature is poor, weak and frail, with-
out the elevating influences of religion."
"I woke with a song of gratitude and praise in my
heart to Him who gives the light of this beautiful
Sunday morning from the effulgence of his own glory.
Be my guide today. Oh, Lord, lead me as a little child,
— Seventy-seven —
for without thy love and blessing I am miserable in-
deed. Help me to be pure, to have the gentle and
lovely graces of a w^oman and a Christian. Keep
me in the way of holiness, and let all that I have and
all that I am be devoted to thy service for Christ's
"Heard Mr. Fackler deliver a farewell sermon this
morning which was both beautiful and appropriate,
solemn and impressive, from the text : 'Finally, breth-
ren, farewell.' He dwelt on the past, its joys and sor-
rows, and looked into the future with another people
than those who so long had received from his hands
the heavenly manna."
"While with friends in the old Kentucky home I do
not find much time to be alone, but often the silent
beatings of my heart are wafted to the ear of Him
who never sleeps, for blessings on the loved ones left
behind. Visited the cemetery at Lexington, saw the
vault where the ashes of Henry Clay are deposited,
and the mound on which his monument is to be erected.
Spent some time wandering among the narrow homes
of the dead."
"Went to Ashland, the home of our immortal Clay,
but it seemed the glory of it, like the spirit of its
great master, had fled. The old homestead has been
torn away by the hands of his son to give place to a
more elegant and fashionable edifice. It seems sacri-
ligc, for it was sacred to the hearts of the people of
— Seventy-eight —
the whole union, and should have been preserved by
his children for the sake of its memories. The walls
of the new house are half finished, but I got a piece of
w^ood of the step leading to his study, to make canes
for father and grandfather."
"Was at Lord Alexander's, as he is called on ac-
count of his great wealth. Saw his fine imported
stock, and the celebrated race horse, Lexington, for
which the sum of twenty-nine thousand dollars has
"Visited the old home, in Kentucky, where we used
to live, and where the ashes of my little brother are
buried. I could see the solemn procession follow from
the door his little form, move slowly across the yard
and deposit it very near the house, as if human care
and love could lessen the chill of death. I tried to
imagine the grief of my parents, as the little angel was
torn from them before their hearts had learned sub-
mission to the will of Him who 'chastens whom he
loves.' I thought of the loneliness in their home de-
serted by the little prattler, their only child. I thanked
God that they and we, their daughters, have not been
chastened in vain, that we now look forward to a re-
union beyond the grave where the sun is ever shining
and separations never come. I went into the old
dilapidated house that my mother and father lived
in when they were first married. I stood on the floor,
looked on the walls and breathed in the same rooms
where my parents' early married life, and my infancy
— Seventy-nine —
were passed. Upstairs I saw father's name on the
wall. Just below I added the names of the other three.
It was a sacred place to me. I wished to spend hours
there, but had to go back."
The scenes of my childhood so dear to my heart
All pensive I visit, and sigh to depart;
Their flowers seem to languish, their beauty to cease,
For a stranger inhabits the mansion of peace.
But hush'd be the sigh that untimely complains,
While friendship and all its enchantment remains.
While it blooms like the flozver of a winterless clime.
Untainted by chance, unabated by time.
On the nineteenth day of August, eighteen hundred
and fifty-nine, she makes the following mention of her
"Thursday, the nineteenth day of last May, was ush-
ered in with a clear sky and a glowing sun. The birds
were joyous in the springtime of their existence, and
I, a timid, sensitive girl, was led to the marriage altar
in my father's home by Mr. James H. Martin.* The
ceremony was pronounced by the Rev. John De Jar-
"We had a merry little party assembled and all
passed off with seeming gaiety, my mother, father.
*Later her name was changed to Smith by Act of Legislature of the State of
— Eighty —
and sister participating. But in our hearts were emo-
tions beyond expression. The beautiful past, the un-
known future ! — gratitude for the one, fear and hope
for the other, while above all were unceasing prayer,
earnest petition for the blessing of our Father in heav-
en. Three months have passed, three of pleasure, with
an occasional earth cloud, but I have reason for much
"Father, help me do right, help thy handmaid do
thy will and be Thou her guide and support."
The following entry made in Mrs. Smith's journal
on July fifteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty, is a
beautiful expression of a mother's love, and a mother's
devotion to her babe :
"Changes come over all things earthly, and so they
have o'er me. My boy is four months old — having be-
gun his earthly pilgrimage on Saturday evening, the
tenth of last March. To his mother he is beautiful,
with his golden hair, blue eyes and exquisite complex-
ion. He is not playful, and of course, we think it is
because of some extra talent that makes him quiet and
"I feel deep solicitude for him to excel in good-
ness and in intellect. Great sprightliness, or any
superficial charm, I am willing to sacrifice to real
worth. I should like him to be a man of stern princi-
ples, who would rather be right than to occupy high
places in this world's honors."
— Bighty-one —
One year later she wrote the following mournful
"An angel came and hushed my baby's cries, and
while I prayed that he might stay, stopped his breath-
ing, stiffened his little limbs, and bore his spirit to
Our little life —
Born of one fathomless eternity —
Steals on a moment, and disappears
In an eternity as fathomless.
There is a special providence in the falling of a
sparrow; if it he now, 'tis not to come; if it he not to
come, it will he now; if it he not noiv, yet it will come;
the readiness is all.
"On the brow was written with God's own finger,
'Everlasting peace;' on the still breast, 'Perfect pur-
ity;' in the palms of the little hands, 'No rough scar
of earthly w^ork shall ever stain them;' on the white
round feet, 'Earth's thorns shall never wound them;'
on the sealed eye-lids, 'No tears shall wet them;' and
on the serene lips, 'No cry of pain shall pass them.' "
— Eighty-two —
To live well is to think what is true,
To feel zvhat is beautiful,
And to desire what is good.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose.
When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd, and pure
As the lily, or the mountain snow.
Some souls lose all things hut the love of beauty;
And by that love they are redeemable,
For in love and beauty they acknowledge good,
And good is God.
There was a soft and pensive grace,
A cast of thought upon her face,
That suited well the forehead high,
The eye-lash dark, and downcast eye,
The mild expression spoke a mind
In duty firm, composed, resigned.
Nothing truly can be term'd mine oTim
But what I make mine own by using well.
Those deeds of charity which we have done
Shall stay forever with us; and that zvealth
Which we have so bestow' d, we only keep;
The other is not ours.
HOME AT SEDALIA
The angels sang in heaven when she was born.
Her cheek had the pale pearly pink
Of sea-shells, the zvorld's szveetest tint, as though
She lived, one half might deem, on roses sopp'd
In silver dew.
Nature was lavish in her gifts to this brilliant and
attractive woman. Like Helen, of Argos, whose face
launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless tow-
ers of Ilium, she was such a pleasing personality that
everybody claimed kin with her. She was above the
medium stature, perfect both in form and feature. Her
fine oval face, frank and open countenance and large
wondering brown eyes were full of expression. In
animated conversation they kindled with light and en-
thusiasm. In repose her face had about it the sad
mystery of one who had suffered, and over it was the
aureole of a saint. Her voice, soft and low, was musi-
cal as Apollo's lute. It bespoke a refined, sensitive,
and gentle heart. Her disposition — rosy as the morn-
— Eighty -five —
ing — was retiring, trusting, and confiding. In thought,
feeling, expression and conduct, she lived on a level
far above the selfishness, hate, anxiety, and ambition
of this dim spot that men call earth. Hers was a
life of good will, which is the only absolute good in
the world, and is life indeed. The fruit of such a
character is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against which
there is no law. Such a life finds its inspiration in the
sermon on the mount, the Shepherd psalm, and Paul's
tribute to love.
"Her crozvn zcas in her heart, not on her head:
Not deck'd with diamonds, and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: her crown was called content;
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy."
Her home in Sedalia, where she lived so many
beautiful years, was a Mecca to which all made their
pious pilgrimage when in need of help, sympathy, and
advice. Every one, however humble his condition, or
social position, found a listening ear, an understanding
heart, and a helping hand according to the measure
of his need. The Lord led her along a way she knew
not. Through varied experiences she came to know
the human heart, and how best to administer the
needed help. The large estate inherited from her
father and mother she held in trust as a good steward
of the manifold grace of God. It was used for the
comfort of her home, the happiness of her friends, the
good of all, regardless of either race or color, for
— Eighty -six —
works of benevolence, education, and the advance-
ment of the Christian religion both at home and in the
lands beyond the seas. Never a society woman, she
was a woman in society, and, with peculiar grace dis-
pensed a generous hospitality. She believed women
to be the first and greatest factors among the social,
moral, and religious influences that make for the ad-
vancement of the race in the finer and the diviner
things of life. She gave herself with singular intel-
ligence, sympathy, and devotion to reforms of every
kind. With all her heart she believed that as God
rules the world that truth will not be forever on the
scaffold, and wrong forever on the throne. The Lord
be praised, she lived to see the dawn of the better day
for which the world has waited long. The secret of
her confidence was faith, and hope, which springs
eternal in the human breast.
"The sun set, but not on her hope;
Stars rose, her faith was earlier up."
There is not a more beautiful story in history than
the story of her continued kindness to young women,
young men, and widows. "The mercy I to others
show, that mercy show to me," was a prayer which she
could consistently pray. The best her most devoted
friend could wish for her was that as she had done for
others so, under like circumstances, might it be done
for her. Her life was an object lesson on the golden
rule translated into conduct. She believed that salva-
tion should be expressed in terms of character rather
— Eighty-seven —
than in terms of doctrine. This is the teaching of a
striking expression in the book of Revelation : "It was
given to her that she should array herself in fine linen,
pure and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts
of the saints." Through the patronage of Mrs. Smith
many girls of small means were given advantages for
education, culture, and social position that seldom
come to even the daughters of wealthy parents. To
be a guest in her home for years — as some were — was
a liberal education to one responsive to such a refined
and genial environment. To a chosen few she gave
the culture that only comes from travel and study
both in this country and in Europe. The traveled mind
is the catholic mind educated from exclusiveness and
egotism. "Nothing tends so much to enlarge the mind
as traveling, that is, making visits to other towns,
cities, and countries besides those in which we were
born and educated." Saint Augustine used to say:
"The world is a great book, of which they who never
stir from home read only a page." The young women
who shared the bounty of their generous friend made
good use of the opportunities at hand, and in return
gave the unchanging love and gratitude of fond hearts,
and used their accomplishments to increase the hap-
piness and to enrich the lives of others who were not
"A grateful mind
By owing owes not, hut still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg'd."
— Bighty-eight —
Mrs. Smith's home was, also, a retreat for the widow
who had no helper, especially for the one who was a
life-long friend either of herself or of her father and
mother. It was easy for her to practice the teaching
of Israel's wisest king: "Thine own friend, and thy
father's friend forsake not." It is as essential in the
Christian religion to care for the widow and the or-
phan in affliction as it is to keep oneself unspotted
from the world. It is a beautiful and suggestive fact
that it was left for James, the Lord's brother, to give
expression to the truth that active benevolence and
personal purity are the fundamental considerations in
the faith once for all delivered to the saints. If these
are the essence of pure religion before our God and
Father, great is the reward of our sister in heaven
where even a cup of water given in the name of the
Master will be remembered. When she finished her
course and reached the other side, some whom she
had fed, clothed, sheltered, and comforted till they
gained the peace of death and the victory of ever-
lasting life, were there to say : "Well done, thou good
and faithful friend; enter now into the joy eternal of
thy Lord !" Her ministry of love to the lowly was a
fulfillment of the Master's words spoken under the
solemn sanction of accepted death: "I was hungry,
and you gave me meat; I was thirsty, and you gave
me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in;
naked, and you clothed me ; I was sick, and you visited
me; I was in prison, and you came to me."
— Eighty-nine —
"She was the pride
Of her familiar sphere — the daily joy
Of all who on her graceful life might gaze,
And in the light and music of her zuay
Have a companion's portion."
There was something in Mrs. Smith's character that
was finer than anything she ever said or ever did.
This was her Christ-Hke endurance of affhction. Dur-
ing most of her later years she was an invalid confined
within the narrow spaces of the home, and rarely
able to attend divine service, or to visit neighbors and
friends. Much is written in history of heroic deeds,
but much more remains to be said of heroic endur-
ance. It is easier for the average person to bear the
heat and the burden of the day in active toil than it
is to patiently endure the ills — physical and mental —
that weigh on the soul. Dr. Jno. Watson says in one
of his graceful little books: "If it were given us to
choose the way wherein we should walk, is there one
of us would not prefer the way of doing to the way of
suft'ering? What soldier would not rather charge on
the most forlorn hope, with an almost certainty of
dying in the breach, than stand on the deck of a sink-
ing ship till she made the last plunge, and the cold
waters closed over his head? He who charged had
done something; putting heart into an army, showing
the road to victor}^, giving his body for a bridge ; but
he who stood did nothing, striking no blow, advancing
no cause, leaving no memorial. A mother's heart is
— Ninety —
light as she watches over her children and toils for
their welfare, but she would fret and worry were she
laid aside and commanded to rest. Any servant of
Christ would ten times rather face a hostile world
even to death in the declaration and the defense of
the evangel, than be silenced and hear afar the sound
of the battle. It is not given to us to know which has
done most for a household; the strong man who won
for them the meat which perishes, by the sweat of his
face, or the gentle sufferer whose grace made clean
their souls. We value the patriot whose words and
deeds establish righteousness in the market-place, but
may assign too little effect to his fellow held in pri-
son and in bonds."
It is a beautiful figure that represents our Lord sit-
ting as a purifier and refiner of silver, passing the ore
through the crucible of fire till the dross is consumed,
the silver refined, and his own image reflected in the
metal. It is the crushed olive that yields the oil; the
pressed grape that gives forth the wine; and it was
the smitten rock that gave the people water. The
broken, contrite heart is rich in holiness, fragrant in
grace, and in the sight of God is the pearl of greatest
price. "They who sail on the surface of a summer
sea gain no treasures but those who, weighed down
with sorrow, fear not to sound the depths, return to
the light with pearls in their hands. One vigil with
Christ in Gethsemane teaches more than can be heard
in all the synagogues, than all we gather in our pleasant
days. We learn at last to say : 'Thy will be done,' and
— Ninetv-one —
to make our final surrender. If it be that hearts pass
through Misery's presses, heaven is already bending
over us in benediction, and the angels of God are mak-
ing haste to be our ministers." It is the testimony of
the wisest and the best of men that affliction teaches
wisdom, culture, refinement, and sympathy that can
be learned in no other way. Mr. William E. Glad-
stone paid this tribute to his mother: "Her character
was deeply and thoroughly imbued with love. With
strong and searching processes of bodily affliction she
was assimilated in mind and heart to her Redeemer.
Few mortals suffered more pain, or more faithfully
recognized it as one of the instruments with which God
is pleased to forward that restoring process for which
we are placed on earth."
After the death of her mother and her babe, Mrs.
Smith lived with her father and sister, in a pathetic
affection deepened by a common sorrow. The loss of
her only child was a blow from which she was slow
to recover. More than two score years she carried in
her heart this heavy sorrow. Her love for her son
found increasing strength with increasing days. It
came to be the ruling passion strong in death. This
little nestling gone to heaven was the sweetest memory
of her home. Like our Lord, having loved her own,
she loved him till the end. All good men reverence a
mother's devotion — even though it be the devotion of
a mother-bird that does not fall on the ground without
our Father. Birds fly away from battlefields except
when there are nestlings. A tree was set on fire by a
— Ninety-two —
hot shot from a gun-boat. A soldier passed by when
it was a pillar of flame, and there was a mocking bird
dead on her nest with her wings spread out over her
young — all of them dead. The captain, when he saw
it, saluted and rode on into the battle.
When Mrs. Smith realized that her last hour on
earth had come, she was the same calm, self-poised
woman that she had always been. One whom she
loved with singular devotion, and on whom she had
bestowed special benefaction, sat beside her couch and
held her hand — "a fair, frail hand that scarcely
seemed of flesh — so wasted, white, and wan it was.
The great, wondering brown eyes had sunk deep away
in their sockets — and their light shone dim as tapers
dying on an altar." To her young friend she bore
this grateful testimony : "Vie, I am glad you are do-
ing your duty in the world."
The last thought to which her tongue gave expres-
sion was for the one whom she loved and trusted
above all others. "What wiU we do with sister?" she
whispered in tones soft as a dream of beauty. Look-
ing for the last time into the fond face that was bend-
ing over her she said :
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee ; the Lord make
His face shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee; the
Lord lift up His countenance on thee and give thee
peace." Then, "softly as a cloud, a golden cloud,
upon a summer day, floats from the heat of land out
o'er the sea, so her sweet life passed away."
With the exception of three years Mrs. Smith spent
— Ninety-three —
all her life in one place, and was buried in the cemetery
on a wide prairie where she gathered wild flowers
when a child. She carried in her heart the family his-
tory of scores of her neighbors as well as the history
of the founding and the growth of the most beautiful
city in central Missouri. Her familiar figure in the
home, the house of God, and on the streets of the
town, joined the present with the past, and opened
a treasure-house of sacred memories. Such a career
is an inspiration to the young to make life a beautiful
and noble calling which will be followed by a lofty
destiny and the dawn of immortality.
— Ninety-four —
Truth shines the brighter clad in verse.
Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.
You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some
Poetry is the music of thought, brought to us in the
music of language.
A poem's life and deatJi dependeth still
Not on the poet's wits, but reader's will.
The poet who may sow your grave with flowers,
The traveler to the far land of the past.
Poetry is the sister of sorrow; every man that suf-
fers and weeps, a poet; every tear is a verse; and
every heart a poem.
Poetry has been to mc its own exceeding great re-
ward; it has given me the habit of wishing to discern
the good and the beautiful in all that meets and sur-
The life of a poet sKould be a poem.
"It seemed her pain had made her lay more szveet
As I have heard the nightingale doth sing
Pierced by a thorn; and God pains the hearts
Of poets most who sing the sweetest song."
Poets and painters have done more for the educa-
tion, the elevation, the happiness, and the inspiration
of the race than the philosophers. To the average
mind philosophies and commentaries are as dry as
Slimmer dust. Poetry is the oldest form of literature,
as may be seen from the Book of Job, which is a
solemn tragedy, and Homer's Iliad, the greatest epic
in any tongue. Poets and painters live in closest
touch with nature and nature's God. When they write
poems, or paint pictures, it is from the heart of
things. Both are strangely endowed with a sixth sense,
that is the ability to see, to understand, and to reveal
to others the invisible. This makes them, next to our
Lord, the greatest and the best of all teachers, because
they live more and have their being in the realm of
the infinite and the unseen. It is the testimony of the
— Ninety-seven —
Divine Spirit that the things which are seen are tem-
poral, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Some one has said that poetry is truth told in a
beautiful way. For this reason the most beautiful
poetry in the world is the poetry of the Bible. This
form of speech easily lends itself to the expression of
religious thought and feeling. George R. Wendling
makes the significant remark in one of his brilliant lec-
tures that "there is not enough poetry in infidelity to
make a single verse of song." The Old Testament
prophets were singers as well as seers. Isaiah, the
poet-prophet, was the forerunner of Christ both in
the manner and the matter of his teaching. His
prophecy is in reality the fifth gospel. The fifty-third
chapter of Isaiah would be a fitting introduction to the
study of the arrest, the trial and the crucifixion of our
adorable Lord, as reported by the four evangelists.
Much of the Master's teaching, with slight change,
can be thrown into rhythmic phrase. This is especially
true of the sermon on the mount. Dull indeed must
be the ear that cannot detect the poetry on almost
every page of the gospel narratives. The apostle Paul
adorned his sermons and epistles with quotations both
from the Hebrew and the classic poets. More than a
score of such quotations are found in the epistle to the
Romans. His sermon preached on Mars' Hill at
Athens, reported by Luke, the beloved physician, is
a masterpiece of sacred eloquence. On this brief ad-
dress his fame as an orator at last will rest. Instead
of reading the Jewish Scriptures he selects his text
— Ninety-eight —
from an inscription on one of the many pagan altars
to be seen on every hand, and illustrates and enforces
his teaching with a line found in two Greek poets :
"For we also are his offspring." These two poets
were Aratus, a Celician, one of Paul's own country-
men, and the other was Cleanthes. The following are
the opening lines in the poem by Aratus :
''From Jove we begin — who can touch the string
And not harp praise to Heaven's eternal King?
He animates the mart and crowded way,
The restless ocean, and the sheltered hay.
Doth care perplex? Is loivering danger nigh?
We are his offspring and to Jove we fly."
Cleanthes begins his sublime hymn to Jupiter, which
contains forty lines, with this stanza :
"Most glorious of the gods, immortal Jove;
Supreme on earth beneath, in heaven above!
Thou great first cause, whose word is nature's lazv.
Before thy throne we mortals bend with awe;
For we thine offspring are. To man is given —
To man alone — to lift a voice to Heaven."
Mrs. Smith learned in suffering what she taught in
song. It costs a great deal to be a poet as it does to
be a blessing. Strait is the gate and narrow is the
way that leads to the highest grade of service, and few
there are that find it. Only those who pay the price
— Ninetv-ninc —
have the reward of a useful Hfe. The real cost of a
book is the labor one must give in understanding it.
The one without the other is of little value. This is
the meaning of the paradox: "To him that hath shall
be given, and he shall have more abundance ; but from
him that hath not shall be taken even that which he
hath." This is true, because fidelity to match the ca-
pacity and the opportunity is the highest achievement.
This is the one thing that is everything. The matter
of first importance is what a man is, rather than what
he does or what he says. The life is more than
meat, and the body is more than raiment. It is
Christ's method to make the tree good, and the fruit
will be good also. A good man out of the good treas-
ure of his heart brings forth good things; and an evil
man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.
"Howc'er it he, it seems to me
'Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets
And simple faith than Norman blood."
The greatest forces, both in nature and redemption,
move through silent courses. The dew of summer and
the frost of winter are not distilled in a storm. In
the quiet night while men sleep both come on every
tree, and flower, and blade of grass in the countr}' and
in the town. So, also, the real benefactors of the race
are the sweet and virtuous souls who work in quiet
— One Hundred —
ways, and sometimes in lonely places, giving to the
world inspiring sentiments and high ideals. It was
said by a thoughtful mind that when Millet painted
the two peasants standing in the field, with bowed
heads, at the hour of evening prayer, listening to the
bells in the convent tower, he did more for labor,
and the laboring man, than if he had seized a spade
and worked in the fields of France for fifty years.
The poets have done quite as much for the conversion
of the world as the evangelists. Multitudes have been
won to Christ by a song even when the sermon had
failed. An interesting story is told of Augustus Top-
lady. More than a hundred years ago he was a lad in
England. His parents were pious people, but the son
in spite of many prayers, sermons, and entreaties, was
still resolved never to become a Christian. In the
providence of God, however, his good mother and her
son made a visit to Ireland. On the Lord's day they
went to a place of worship where a good man was to
preach. This minister was most earnest in his sermon.
He put the question to the unsaved whether they
would give themselves to Christ, or remain in their sins.
Every time the pastor repeated the question, the young
man said in his heart : "No, I will not." At the close
of the sermon his heart seemed harder than ever ! The
minister gave out an invitation hymn. It begins :
"Come ye sinners, poor and wretched." The con-
gregation, stirred by the sermon, sang the song with
the spirit and the understanding. What the sermon
could not do the singing of the hymns did. It moved
— One Hundred One —
his heart as the waters when the wind blows on the
face of the sea. It was the Spirit of God calling him
through the hundreds of voices singing the gospel that
day. This lad, saved by a song, became a minister of
the word and author of the stately hymn :
"Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee."
Whatever was Mrs. Smith's experience in pain and
sorrow it did not destroy the poetry in her heart,
which, like the Aeolian harp, was responsive to the
tempest's breath, and filled the night with praise. "She
counted only the hours that are serene, took no note of
time but by its benefits, watched only for the smiles,
neglected the frowns of fate, composed her life of
bright and gentle moments, turned always to the sunny
side of things, and let the rest slip from her unnum-
bered or forgotten." A minor key in her poems sug-
gests that experience had taken her below the sur-
face of things down into the mystery of the world, its
sin, its suffering, and its sorrow. It was hers to suf-
fer much, but she was given beauty for ashes, the oil
of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for
the spirit of heaviness. Some of her poetry "cheers
like a sunbeam; charms like a good story; inspires
like a brave leader; binds like a golden chain; and
guides like a heavenly vision." The following "Rhap-
sody" is a fair sample of her poems which will com-
pose the second part of this little book:
— One Hundred Two —
"Dear little baby, hozv strange it does seem
To see your face laughing so sweet in a dream.
Are the angels that brought you so close to our shores
That you still catch the light of their bright, dripping
Cleaving the waters of heavenly hue.
That bear them away from me and from you?
Are their whispered goodbyes, and the kisses they
Voiceless to me as a bird on the wing —
So full for my baby of promise and grace,
That heavenly glory is shed o'er his facet
Do they tell you alone of mirth and of song,
And of flower-strewn paths for your feet in the
And bring you, my darling, to bless me awhile
With the grace and the charm of your magical smile f
'Ah! Questions are vain. We only can know
That the years with their changes must come and
That the lives that are past, and the lives that are
Are by our Father with mystery fraught;
That the joy you bring to a world growing old
Is more precious than jewels in caskets of gold.
It is mine for today — yes, mine for all time —
Here and hereafter — eternally mine!"
Poetry itself is a thing of God. He made his
prophets poets; and the more we feel of poetry do we
become more like God in love and power.
Poetry is something to make us wiser and better, by
continually revealing those types of beauty and truth
ivhich God has set in all men's souls.
MRS. MARTHA E. SMITH
Father, my heart I bring to Thee,
That Thou my greatest need may'st see;
Hard, unworthy, frail and weak,
Thy tender aid I humbly seek.
This world of light, and love and song,
Doth chant Thy praise in echoes long;
Each tiny bird, and flower and tree,
Gives glad, sweet strains of minstrelsy,
All Nature tunes her soul to sing
Thy praise, and all her glory bring
To honor Thee, my God and King;
But I, alas, with my torn wing.
Low in the dust must ever lie.
Unless Thou lift my soul on high
And give my tired feet the strength
To walk in Wisdom's ways at length.
Sedalia, Mo., 1878.
— One Hundred Seven —
When Summer hath waned into Autumn's bright hue.
And frosts take the place of the earlier dew,
With a tenderness only that dear mothers know,
Death hideth her darlings away 'neath the snow.
The life that seemed waning in storm and in heat,
In exquisite casket lies safe and complete ;
Each tiny seed wrapped in its shell on the sod,
Fulfilling in silence its mission to God.
No life is destroyed, only changed in its kind,
And Summer will give it again to the wind;
Bud, leaf and blossom all perfect again
Will adorn with gay beauty the pathway of men.
Twin sister of life, rejoicing I come,
With laurel and wreath for the good thou hast done ;
O process of Nature! — O wonderful thought —
Life gives us death, from death life is wrought.
Sedalia, Mo., 1878.
One Hundred Eight —
DR. B. B. TYLER ON HIS FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY
On life's rugged road 'tis sweet to stand
On the top of its loftiest peak,
And gazing afar toward the possible land,
Its ultimate boundary seek.
It is thine today, that wonderful sweep
In the distance, so mellowed and fair
That the touch of the Lord seems almost to reach
Thy face in its uplift of prayer.
Transfigured by faith the past all appears
A garlanded way opened wide;
A glorious vista of joy and of tears,
The dear, dear friends, the altar, the bride.
But the call of the Reaper oft heard to the fold
Hushed many of those loved ones to sleep ;
"Beside the still waters" they love as of old,
And vigil eternal they keep.
Oh, marvelous love ! For the oncoming years
We pray His righteousness still
To illumine thy pathway and dispel all thy fears.
While loving and working His will.
New York, April 9, 1890.
One Hundred Nine —
A DOLLAR FOR THE CHURCH
A poem must come, a dollar be made,
Tho' rhymes and dimes are not my trade.
Still must I try; my wings must fly.
Out of my brain must come a strain
Of jingle and tingle to mix and to mingle
The dryest of worth with heartiest mirth ;
That saints that are wrinkled,
And saints that are gray,
That saints that are youngest,
And saints that are gay,
May laugh and beguile one sweet hour away.
But oh, that dollar; how can I get it?
I cannot beg, how can I fix it?
A bright idea. The Christian will
Bring it, Subscribe, subscribe.
Dear friend, without a bribe.
At once, at once, subscribe, sub;
A shoulder cold:
"No Christian needed in our fold."
— One Hundred Ten-
BABY HANDS-OLDER HANDS
In childhood's hours — for joy or woe
A day is a ponderous thing.
The morrows are all too stately and slow,
Delaying the pleasures they promise to bring.
But on they go — both sure and fleet,
These days of slow advance.
And baby hands and baby feet
Go gaily on in the dance.
But a little while and the past will hold
A measure so full of days
That baby memories growing old
In looking back will count decades.
Ah well, if baby hands and baby feet
Have kept their record true,
The older hands and older feet
Will have no cause to rue;
But all be joy and all be sweet
To lay at the Master's holy feet.
New York, October, 1889.
— One Hundred Bleven —
GARFIELD'S STRUGGLE FOR LIFE
(Trip to Lon^ Branch. When he was dyin^)
Bow to your God, ye men called divine ;
Kneel on the sod, ye men from the mine ;
Swift run your train, O good engineer ;
Brave, though he dies, there's nothing to fear.
Hark : "Let her go," the dying man said ;
Speed, then, your train, and onward they sped;
Too late, alas ! the breeze from the wave
Kissed his pale brow, but too late to save.
Room for the hearse, a great soul is gone;
Break, oh, ye hearts, the dark deed is done;
Toll all ye bells, a world bows in grief ;
Roar all ye guns, dead, dead, lies your chief.
Mourn, all ye fair, your hero lies low;
Songs fill the air, but all tell of woe;
Droop for your son, ye flag of the free ;
Wail all ye lands, from sea unto sea.
Jersey City, October 1, 188L
— One Hundred Twelve
THE CHILD'S SONG
Kitty, kitty, go to sleep,
Shut your eyes, now don't you peep;
Sing with me your little song,
But do not make it very long.
Hurry, kitty, for you see,
Mamma soon will come for me;
And I must see you safe in bed,
All covered up except your head.
And while I rock you in my chair.
You must purr your little prayer;
Although you say it soft and low,
Christ will hear it all, you know.
Mamma makes me bend my knee,
But kitty, dear, you can't, you see;
For you're too little yet to try,
See : I'm so tall, and big, and high.
And then you can't say any words.
No more than chicks or little birds;
But when you do your best to tell.
He will hear you just as well.
Sedalia, Mo., February 18, 1879.
— One Hundred Thirteen —
(To Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Gunnell, of Colorado Springs, on the death
of their daughter, "Kate")
"There is no death," save death for Hfe,
Our Hfe is here the wealth of death;
No hfe on earth our God doth give
That is not nurtured by its breath.
Your darhng only closed her eyes
To open them on deathless life;
The eternal hills of Paradise
Are hers, with everlasting life.
No death nor anguish will she know
In that fair realm where life is love,
No shadow cloud her radiant brow
Where Peace eternal reigns above.
Let not your home be hushed and stilled
Where erst her voice made melody,
The keys her fairy fingers trilled
Will yield again their symphony.
O, stricken ones, be strong and brave,
Your storm-swept hearts our Lord will still ;
The world is full of souls to save.
Your child is safe. Abide His will.
New York, March 10, 1890.
— One Hundred Fourteen —
MY FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY
Out of God's eternal treasure,
Moving swiftly through the spheres,
Come to us with unvoiced measure
Days and weeks and months and years.
They are jewels for our keeping,
And by toil must polished be;
While in darkest hours of weeping
They gather light we cannot see.
Tho' the task is long and heavy,
Bravely we must bear it all;
For even gems without their grinding
Ne'er can grace a kingly hall.
Time, with furnace-heat and mallet.
Helps us deal the needed blows ;
And will lose no scattered fragment
From the anvil where it glows.
Then at last sweet rest will find us,
Decked in years and years of gems,
And the darkness left behind us
Will be aglow with diadems.
— One Hundred Fifteen —
So today I tread the highlands
Of the glorious, golden time,
Where the pilgrim scarce can enter
Without prophecy sublime.
Sedalia, January 10, 1880.
Oh, ye strange city of the dead,
Ye are not strange to me ;
Hearts with more of love
Than earth could hold
Are in thy strong embrace,
And I did share that love,
Feet whose swiftness
Outran for me the fastest
Flight of time; and dear folded
Hands that were quick to bind
My slightest wounds,
And lip and eye whose
Inwrought souls hid
All my faults in sympathy
Divine, lie sleeping in thy shades.
Ah, for me such
Noble ser\dce hath been
Wrought in such sweet way, by them,
That love did give to love
A prophecy of Heaven.
— One Hundred Sixteen —
Only yester morn through
Thy silent groves another form
Was borne, a dear tired
Form, whose dimpled
Hands did clasp my
Own at school, and later walked
Beside me in the young
Romance of life.
Anon, our hands did
Touch in mid-day's shine
And storm, and we
Wept and joyed together as time
Went on. And now her
Sinless life, with the stamp of grief
In deepest lines
Upon her sad brow.
Is yielded up
To God in all her chastened
Beauty. Each pain and sorrow
Suffered here, and borne so patiently,
Beams now a gem of glory
In her coronet of love and joy.
And so it is not strange to me
This land of hallowed dead,
Their music sweet fills all the air.
On this my soul is fed.
Sedalia, Mo., September, 1898.
— One Hundred Seventeen-
TO "GRANDMA" KULLMER, ON HER
Sweet spirit that so long hath graced
The royal feast of life,
And given thy service in the ranks
Of holy Christian strife.
We come with loving words to greet
Thy presence while we may;
To weave a garland for thy brow
On this glad Christmas day.
In all our years that backward lie,
Thou hast led the way.
And all that dreadful seemed to youth.
Made beautiful as day.
The awful path where trials lay
In wait for tender feet.
Dismayed us, till we saw beyond.
Thy face so pure and sweet.
The lowering clouds, the storm and stress.
From which we shrank with fear,
Changed in thy blessed company
To Heavenly calm and cheer.
Like leaves that in the warm embrace
Of sun and dew unfold,
The glow of Jesus' love thy face
And form benignly hold.
— One Hundred Eighteen —
Filled at His fount of love, thy heart
Reflects His love again,
Then giveth out, in word and deed,
Unto thy fellow men.
And so we come with joy to greet
Thy presence while we may.
To weave a garland for thy brow
On this, thy natal day.
Sedalia, Mo., December 25, 1898.
TO MILDRED BARD
(On receiving her picture)
Roses lie all about thy path, my child,
And sunshine gilds thy day.
But He who grants this joyous life
May sometime cloud thy way.
Then take and trust a Father's love.
He doeth all things well.
Be yours the Hope — the Faith to move —
The shadows to dispel.
Life is sweet, my little friend.
To those whose hearts are true.
And Love's the passport in the end
That makes our Heaven secure.
— One Hundred Nineteen — '
A FRIEND'S SILVER WEDDING
(Mr. and Mrs. Sam Beiler)
In all the world there's not a girl
So dear to me as darling Jennie;
She'd say me nay in such sweet way
It didn't scare me worth a penny.
Her step was high and her tender eye
Beat all the eyes of lovers faery;
When turned on me, bade darkness flee,
I longed to call her "mine, my dearie."
A time there came when hope was gone,
For 'neath the stars one silent evening
I left her with a heart forlorn.
And gave my heart to bitter grieving.
Another time she gave a smile,
That smile her maiden love confessing ;
And in all these years, 'tis true, my dears,
Oh, girls, you cannot beat me guessing.
And thus tonight, with love bedight,
I here unfurl the silver lining;
For every cloud has turned to light,
Transformed by Cupid's soft beguiling.
— One Hundred Twenty —
In fragrant fells and bosky dells,
Where'er a loyal lover dwells,
No word so sweet as one that tells
Of wedding bells, sweet silver bells.
Oh, bells sublime, oh, bells divine,
Oh, happy, heavenly wedding bells.
The silver bells, the golden bells.
The everlasting wedding bells.
Ring out, ring out your glad refrain,
Ring 'round the earth your happy chimes;
Ring out, and out, and out again,
And ring to Heaven the glad Amen.
Sedalia, Mo., 1897.
— One Hundred Twenty-one —
TO AGNES DALBY
(On receiving a beautiful picture of herself)
Pausing here in grace and beauty
Heart and soul all undefiled,
I would throw life's fairest flowers
For thy feet, my darling child.
And in all thy happy morning
Stamped by heaven with richest ray
Youth and joy thy face adorning,
Hope's sweetest song should be my lay.
And on and on through womanhood
More grace, more beauty and more song,
With love divine, (not understood)
Should keep thy steps thy way along,
ON BIRTHDAY OF MY FRIEND, MRS. JAEL
Oh, blessed baby, with eyes of blue
Laughing and sobbing the whole day through !
Day by day each year hath wrought
And added grace, a wealth of thought,
A halo on thy brow hath thrown
Of duty well and bravely borne.
— One Hundred Tzvcnty-two —
That baby, now with crown of white,
Her life aglow with heavenly light,
Is laughing still — with eyes of blue
And working still — the whole day through
And blessing still— in many ways,
Oh, grant her more — more years of days.
In every clime beneath the sun.
Where'er the rapid years do run.
Until both sun and stars decline,
I'll hold you as my Valentine.
And when the sands of life run low,
And fortunes come and fortunes go ;
In tottering age, in life's decline,
You still shall be my Valentine.
And when both days and years are past.
And we have reached the eternal vast,
E'en then and there you shall be mine,
My ever living Valentine.
One Hundred Twenty-three ■
HELP FOR THE POOR
Mothers, look out from your warm, sunny homes
Where comfort and love have made their abode,
And count, if you can, the dear little ones
Whom poverty drives away from your door.
From carpets so soft that your tread is unheard.
From firesides crackling and sparkling with mirth.
From cradles where naught but the love coo is heard,
From walls that shut in all the pleasures of earth.
Let your feet go in search of the waifs of the town.
Look into their hovels of want or of shame.
And show them the beauty of labor and toil.
And teach them to work for a home and a name.
Little untrained hands that are empty and cold,
Little hearts that have never been lifted in prayer,
Little feet that are wandering away from the fold.
Little moans that are lost on the dull wintry air
Are waiting for balm you only can bring,
The light you can throw on their darkened way;
The gladness of song you only can sing.
The glorious love that brightens your day.
— One Hundred Twenty-four —
Like toiling insects beneath the dark sea,
We are building a fabric our Father hath planned,
Where each one must work, tho ' in shadow it be,
Till eternity's light reveals where we stand.
Teach them the gladness of work, and a song will be sung,
Hallelujahs the angels will hear;
"The sweat of thy brow" is the magical word
That rings down the ages in tones loud and clear.
Sedalia, Mo., 1884.
(Coming to Sedalia)
An impulse eternal from the Great and the Good
Stirred the heart of our father as he turned from the wood
And built in the prairie a home in its wild.
Where solitude reigned supreme, undefiled.
Under its roof tree sweet fancies were told
Of the future, excelling King Midas of old ;
Suns rose and set, stars shone on high,
And the winds, undisturbed, trailed their Avay from the sky.
The family housed, he went out in the blast
And battled for progress and privilege vast ;
All alone for a time he wrought with a will,
Knowing Heaven at last his wish would fulfill.
Sedalia. Mo.. February 24, 1895.
— One Hundred Twenty-five —
A CHILD AND THE BUTTERFLY
A Tfoc Story
(Dear Little Maggie Laidlaw)
"Butterfly, butterfly, beautiful thing!
Did you catch from the rainbow your many haied wing?
Did the sun, as you came through the skies,
From palette o 'erf lowing with exquisite dyes,
Drop splashes of paints on your wings soft and white,
And send you to me in this Avhirl of delight?
' ' Butterfly, butterfly, light on my hand !
Just look and you'll notice how still I can stand.
I will hurt you no more than the trees and the flowers,
Where you frolic and play all the long summer hours.
I'll pluck a bright "star"* from the grass at my feet.
And hold it up high while my call I repeat."
Over the fence and aAvay to the street,
The butterfly swept on his wing wild and fleet,
And left the child chasing it down to the gate.
Calling, "Butterfly, butterfly, why can't you wait?"
The scene and the tones in my mind linger yet,
Making picture and music I cannot forget.
The next summer came with its flowers and birds ;
Its skies deep and blue, holding billows of pearls.
Its pleasures and gladness, from Heaven above,
— One Hundred Twenty-six
Were weaving about us, a fabric of love.
When alas ! The beautiful child craving beautiful things,
Was borne from our arms upon angels' bright wings.
The dear little hands that our own had kept warm,
The frolicksonie feet we had guarded from harm ;
Grew pulseless and still — the spirit had fled, —
We were watching alone with our glorified dead.
Like the child for the fly, now we call and we wait,
Looking still toward the sky, standing still at the gate.
Sedalia, Mo., June, 1878.
A LITTLE TRIBUTE TO MRS. A. D. JAYNES
Oh, come and bring flowers, earth's richest flowers,
And lay them all down down at her feet ;
She loved you and blessed you in life's sunny hours.
And now she is resting in sleep.
'Tis no time to weep, 'tis no time to mourn,
When her victory of life is complete -,
But bring chaplets, rare chaplets of flowers.
The richest of flowers, and lay them all down at her feet.
Sedalia, Mo., December 1, 1900.
— One Hundred Twenty-seven —
The melanch'oly days are come, the saddest of the year,
The punkin pie is almost done, our jubilee is near;
Heaped in barrels down below, the fragrant apples lie
A-waitin' for the sewin' bee an' girl with laffin' eye.
The win's a-howlin' 'round the house, the rain is fallin' fast,
The leaves are flyin' up an' down, the sunshine all is past ;
The hay is in the barn, an' the corn is in the shock,
An' the boys '11 go a-huskin', whether schule keeps in or not.
An' gramma keeps a-knittin' — a-knittin' for us all —
An ' I hold the hanks while Mimy winds the ball ;
Our Mimy is a daisy, with cheeks like apples red,
An ' she blushes, an ' she blushes at everything that 's said.
The wren is gone, an 'all the birds, and the rabbit thro' the leaves
Keeps up a noise, a constant noise like rain from drippin' eaves;
The win's a-blowing all the day, an' from the trees the crow
Seems a-grievin' for the flowers that perished long ago.
But Mimy's lips are like the rose, her eyes the sweetest blue,
An' then her hair ain't very red, but just a golden hue;
An' the sunflower's nothin' to the yaller dress she wears
When we are out a-walkin', an' aigazing at the stars.
An ' when a good day comes, as still such days will come
To call the squirrel an' the bee from out their winter home.
An' I hear the nuts a-droppin', e'en tho' the trees are still
An' all the day is smoky o'er the waters of the rill.
— One Hundred Twenty-eight —
Ah, then I wouldn't care how many summers died
If Mirny could be only forever at my side;
No gloom would ever darken that happy home of ours,
For 'twould blossom as the rose with Eden's fairest flowers.
Sedalia, Mo., November 10, 1890.
SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY REFLECTIONS
A Spinner who wrought with the speed of the wind,
On an errand of mercy was sent to mankind;
From the throne of the Master his mandate was given :
Draw out a thread so strong, so sublime.
That nothing can rend it; nor malice, nor hate.
Draw it out ! Draw it out, the task is divine.
From morn until night no rest must thou take;
From night until morn the same diligence make —
Through sunshine and tempest, in storm and in calm.
Relax not thy vigil, withhold not thine arm.
Wouldst know this thread from the realm of day?
'Tis the Christ love in mortals, those beings of clay.
Who frail as a bubble have come in their pride.
With this golden thread their only true guide
Through the storms and quicksands of this lowly earth
It leads back to heaven, the place of their birth.
And guarding it well from stain and from rust ;
'Tis the anchor of safety that will hold for the Just.
New York, 1890.
— One Hundred Tiventy-nine —
My morning was bright with a glorious sky,
And I joined the toilers hurrying by;
But my hands were soon idle, my feet became still,
Impatient, I cried, "Is it really God's will?"
I'm weary with beating 'gainst cold prison bars
That shut out my life as clouds do the stars ;
I'm chafing to join the bold busy throng,
Who are giving their work as birds do their song.
Oh, bounteous heaven, is there nothing for me,
Save idling here on the sands of the sea,
Watching the workers who haste to the shore,
Their sheaves safely garnered, their labors all o'er?
The waters already are touching my feet.
No work have I done that for Heaven seems meet;
What shall I say to the "Spirit who grieves"
To carry me over with "nothing but leaves?"
Oh, for strength in the vineyard to work for one day;
But if that is denied me, still let me pray
That God will accept me as one of the throng
Who worships and loves Him with unceasing song.
St. Louis, October, 1879.
— One Hundred Thirty —
THOUGHTS ON THE CLOSE OF A BEAUTIFUL
"Time is short, and work must be done,"
And her delicate fingers wove night and day;
So swiftly they wrought their fabric of love
That the blush of the morn was still on her cheek,
Its dews not yet brushed away by her feet.
When the web and the woof of her life were all told,
And fell into our arms, rich fold upon fold.
Finished, finished! Oh, God, it is soon
To close such a life. For so sweet a boon
To go out from our perishing earth —
So weak, so needing the help she could give,
Could heaven not spare her yet a short time to live?
Still, Father, we bless thee, thou lovest the fair,
And our angel is safe, tho' gone from our care;
But, Father, we grope, it is dark, give us light.
Let us not sink, but have strength to bear.
To do, and to dare, to work in the world's busy throng.
Our darling so brightened our pathway here
That we knew little of sadness, thought little of fear.
Take thou now our hand, dear Lord,
And lead us, tho' blindly, by thy living word,
And let us not cringe as the slaves of a King,
But knowing thy love, tho' we weep, let us sing.
Sedalia, Mo., June, 1887.
— One Hundred Thirty-one —
MY SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY
Oh, I can never forget, it clings to me yet,
The bound and the swing of life's merry spring.
When with sister at play at the breaking of day,
When the world, newly born, woke the stir of the morn,
And the whispering stars with Orion and Mars,
Were fanned in the sky by the wind passing by.
Making melody sweet, that danced in our feet,
And bowed the great trees in the whispering breeze.
Or when our little tasks ended, our mother suspended
A few moments more her watch at the door.
And in race or in dance, away we would prance,
Beguiling the time in laughter and smile.
So it comes to me yet with but little regret,
For my seventy years have banished the tears,
The vista between filled with beauty serene
Is vocal with song all the day long.
Oh, the lark's note on high, and the wind sailing by.
We hear it today as together we pray,
"Nearer, Nearer, My God, to Thee," hand in hand, oh, let us 5
More and more Thy love divine, more and more, oh, make
Sedalia, Mo., 1890.
— One Hundred Thirty-two —
With reverent awe, oh, dreaded Death,
I beg to lift thy somber veil
The while I seek with bated breath
To find God's love in thee prevail.
Oh, let me come and lift the pall.
Perchance, e'en glory I may see;
For He who made and loveth all,
Hath crowned our earthly life with thee.
Then let me linger near thy side
As friend and friend together go.
And waiting in thy portal wide.
Abide my time 'till all I know.
It cannot be that thou dost hide
In awful covert lone and bare
Save but to crush some awful pride
And give for love a wild despair.
No, thy wing is brooding in the air.
In every sound thy tale is told ;
Thy Maker's law doth everywhere
Demand a new life for the old.
— One Hundred Thirty-three —
By thee my pulses first were stirred,
By thee my wants are all supplied;
New songs in life had ne'er been heard
If older music had not died.
Without thee I had never known
The pleasure of this life on earth;
And can I doubt that from thy throne
We gain the great immortal birth?
Then creep no more, O soul of mine.
Through paths by Death itself made bright.
But plume thy wings for fairer clime,
And soar with her to higher light.
Oh ! let our vanished ones have wings
To speed them on to worlds sublime,
For universal Nature sings,
"The Hand that made us is divine."
Sedalia, Mo., August, 1878.
— One Hundred Thirty-four —
PASSING OF THE CENTURY
Oh, Time, withhold thy hand. Take not yet away from us
This century grand. This century on whose fair tablets men
Have writ such noble deeds. We know the good old
Eighteen hundred, and now, ere thou hast closed the door,
Ere the lock is turned forever on this hallowed name.
And we are thrust in stranger halls, may we not wander back
And clasp once more the hands we loved and grasped.
And hear once more from lips that loved, our name
In love? What has this Nineteen Hundred with its long
Stretch of years to exchange for our happy past?
We pray thee wait a little while before the change.
And make more sure of all the wonders men have wrought,
And now hold out to thee. Old' Time.
The clouds that draped the world in darkness all
Day long, sped rapidly away, and while I mused,
The stars joined hands and danced in gladness.
The good old year with sweeter face than I had ere beheld,
And eyes that beamed o'er all the world in love.
Laid all her burdens down, gathered up her
Jewels of Truth and Righteousness and
Shedding happiness from her golden wings,
Waved a glad good night, and vanished
Into that hallowed past that already
Holds for us so much of the beautiful.
— One Hundred Thirty-five —
The fair New Year had come while I lingered
With the old. And life went bounding on to the
Music of the stars, as from creation's dawn,
And the lesson, that only Love and Faith and Hope
And character are immortal, and that the
Pure in heart alone shall see God, was borne into my soul
With the gladness of the night, and I was happy
And welcomed Nineteen Hundred
As the other sped away.
Sedalia, Mo., January 1, 1900.
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